April 23, 2:09 p.m.: If you were dumb enough to leave your garage door open for any predator stumbling by to have his way with your belongings, would you admit that you left it open? Of course not.
Officer Mercado responded in reference to a residential burglary in the 3800 block of Appleton Way after a family noticed their bicycle missing. The 37-year-old victim told police that while he and his family were out back having a swim in the pool, someone sneaked into his garage and pinched a 21-inch bicycle. How'd the perp(s) gain entry? The victim "said he is unsure, but it is possible he or his wife may have left the garage door open."
The officer on the scene didn't check for fingerprints because "there was no scene to process." The bike has an estimated value of $100. This correspondent recommends that, in the future, people close their garage doors and make the bad guys work for their loot.
April 23, 9:35 p.m.: Officer Paymayesh responded to a silent alarm in the 400 block of North Tampa Avenue, at Rock Lake Elementary School. The officer requested backup from dispatch in order to establish a perimeter around building No. 3, the source of the alarm. The officers held their positions outside the building until the K-9 unit arrived on the scene. About five minutes later, officer Emerson was outside and "advised that he had two black males at gunpoint."
The cops put the clamps on the two, then noticed the doors on the west side of the building still open. After the dog did a sweep of the area and it was determined that there were no other suspects, officer Paymayesh entered the building and noted broken windows on four classroom doors, a spent fire extinguisher and a couple of projectors sitting on the floor between classrooms 33 and 34.
The source of all this mayhem? A 13-year-old and a 14-year-old who aren't old enough for a learning permit to drive, but are old enough to be charged with a felony. The juveniles were charged with burglary, criminal mischief, trespassing and tampering with fire equipment.
April 24, 5:23 p.m.: Officers McNichols and Krudo were dispatched to 1610 West Church Street, aka the Citrus Bowl, in reference to a burglary. The 59-year-old complainant witnessed "an unknown black male" jump the fence near Gate B. The witness inspected the area and found the perp in the men's bathroom with a bag of soap in his hand and two bags of soap in the sink, which had been removed from their wall-mounted dispensers. The witness grabbed the suspect — described as 35-40 years old; 5 feet, 8 inches tall; about 165 pounds; bearded; wearing a dark blue shirt with an Orlando Predators logo, dark blue pants, and sneakers — but the guy was sweaty and able to slip from the witness' grasp.
The officers processed the scene for fingerprints "which met with positive results." Seems like a cheap offense to process fingerprints, right? Wrong. "`The witness` estimates damages at $800." What price cleanliness?
April 25, 1:41 p.m.: In the 500 block of West Kaley Street, Officer Hazuka responded in reference to the strong-arm robbery of a transient citizen. The 55-year-old victim told police that he paid a $5 debt, but the lender wanted to collect a usurious $5 late fee. The victim told the suspect he owed him nothing more. That's when things turned sour.
Not one to be denied a five-spot, the lender informed the victim he was going to kick his ass, and also noted that he would do so every time he saw him on the street. Then he wrenched away the victim's shopping cart, which contained all of his worldly possessions, flipped it over and chased the victim around some nearby gas pumps.
Next, our friendly banker refilled the victim's cart and took off down Kaley Street toward I-4 with it. (The contents were valued at $30.) Eventually he dumped it again. Nice guy.
April 25, 8:31 p.m.: Officer James was dispatched to the 800 block of North Summerlin Avenue in reference to a residential burglary. The 43-year-old victim's neighbor observed someone walking out from behind the victim's house around 7 a.m.
The 59-year-old witness described the perp as "a possible Hispanic transient and stated that he could not get a good look at the suspect's face because it was covered by a multicolored blanket." Curious. What could he have been doing back there?
Here's a hint: "After talking with her neighbor, `the victim` realized that a wool blanket which she left hanging from the rear outside staircase ledge was missing." The staircase in question leads to a cosseted spot under a roof and awning that could easily provide protection from the elements. It appears our perp was catching a firstname.lastname@example.org