NOV. 15, 6 A.M.: A blue jeans-clad female in a white T-shirt and hat lurked on the 2700 block of South Orange Avenue, scheme in mind. She chose a popular liquor store as her burglary destination and set to work, smashing the door's front glass panel to shards and perhaps creeping through the pointed passageway. Inside, dim lighting revealed aisles of tangy wine and smoky scotch, but our lady had not come to mingle with Captain Morgan or Jim Beam. No sir. Her needs could be fulfilled behind the counter, packaged in rectangular boxes. You got it: yet another smokes theft. An unknown number of packs were pocketed, and some were left scattered along the floor — evidence that would later suggest to Officer Hazuka this was one nicotine-addicted delinquent.
Mission sated, said suspect split the scene with her cigarettes, proving yet again the lengths some Orlandoans will go to for their lung treats.
NOV. 17, 10 A.M.: We're no longer safe even riding our bicycles around the block, folks.
A 42-year-old man was taking his red cruiser beach bike for a spin in the 800 block of Wooden Boulevard when a pack of five kids approached and hollered, "He tried to jump me last week," reports state. The boys, two of whom are approximately 15 years old, followed the comment by punching the cyclist in the melon several times, knocking the glasses off his face. They then took his leather wallet filled with $100, a driver's license and a library card, along with that sweet beach cruiser, leaving the victim with a puffy face and no wheels.
Damn heartless kids. The least you could do is wheel your sorry asses on over to the Orange County Public Library and check out a book on manners.
NOV. 19, 2 A.M.: Ah, the downtown Orlando strip on an early Sunday morning: booze-infused college kids, scantily clad females all sporting the same jean skirt and that God-fearing dude who plants himself on Church Street to remind all the boys and girls they're going straight to hell if they so much as set a toe in Mako's. It was one of those mornings, and suddenly all hell broke loose.
The intersection of Orange and Central avenues quickly filled with a belligerent, stumbling downtown crowd as a fight broke loose. College kid No. 1 probably sparked the pointless scuffle when he hit on college dude No. 2's beyotch. The resulting melee created "crowds … so large that pedestrian traffic could not move through," according to police reports, and "many of the officers were surrounded by the large crowds and rocks were being thrown at police officers."
Such behavior deserves a good dose of pepper spray, if you ask this columnist. The officers agreed. It took an entire hour to break up the mammoth crew of downtown drunkards, and five arrests resulted. Additionally, the report notes that one of the officers making an arrest "twisted his left knee and felt minor pain." What a night.
NOV. 19, 7:30 P.M.: Another incident later the same day was less violent, but downright dirty nonetheless.
An unknown suspect or suspects employed an "unknown method" to break into a soon-to-open sub sandwich shop that specializes in baked sandwiches in the 8700 block of Lee Vista Boulevard. Because the shop is still under construction, it's apparent that the perp(s) came for something other than dollars or deli meats. That something? A Holman toaster valued at 2,000 big ones. A microwave oven and a TV were also in the shop, but held no interest for the burglar(s). They wanted that toaster. "The toaster oven taken is a unique item and probably would not be of use to a large number of people," the police report states.
Some Holman toasters are capable of toasting 350 to 1,300 slices of bread per hour, according to www.star-mfg.com. Be on the lookout for someone selling gooey cheese steaks or tender tuna melts from the back of a Buick.
NOV. 19, 11:37 P.M.: Tonight, another connoisseur of kitchen tools was on the prowl. This time, however, the sneaky doings were captured on video.
The target was a Chinese restaurant in the 2500 block of East Colonial Drive. As soon as all the employees left, a man dressed in a mischievous-looking black jacket emerged with a shopping cart. The video depicts him "pulling and prying" on a wooden gate to gain entry to the restaurant's storage room, the report states.
It worked, and once inside, our fellow wheeled his shopping cart in and began the spree. Deep fryers, sacks of frozen seafood and other Asian goodies could've been heisted, but weren't. This night's prize was aluminum cooking pots — four of them, actually, valued at $480.
Toasters, aluminum pots; what's going on here? Orlando's slimiest have been watching too much Top Chef on Bravo, apparently. Restaurants, firstname.lastname@example.org