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Islamic center explosion may have been hate crime

Jacksonville

Islamic center blast a hate crime?

Authorities are investigating an explosion at an Islamic center in Jacksonville to determine if it was a hate crime.

Fire spokesman Tom Francis said investigators were to be at the Islamic Center of Northeast Florida on Tuesday to collect evidence.

A fire caused minimal damage to the building. No one was injured.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations issued a statement saying an attack "on a house of worship should be of great concern to Americans of all faiths." The group called for political and religious leaders to speak out against anti-Muslim sentiment.

Fort Lauderdale

Serial bank robber confesses to 15 more

A serial bank robber who has pleaded guilty to committing six South Florida heists says he also robbed 15 other banks.

Steven Gass pleaded guilty Friday. The U.S. Attorney's office said the 55-year-old stole more than $136,000 from 21 banks during the past three years.

Gass had previously served more than eight years in federal prison for a string of bank robberies after pleading guilty in 1991.

Authorities say he targeted banks from Palm Beach Gardens to Pinecrest.

Fort Lauderdale

Rothstein's flashy cars up for auction

The exotic cars owned by a high-profile South Florida lawyer convicted of concocting a billion-dollar Ponzi scheme are on display for potential bidders in a multmillion-dollar government auction.

Ten of Scott Rothstein's cars went on display Monday outside a Miami warehouse. They will go on auction. Among the cars for sale are a Bugatti, a Lamborghini, a 2009 white Bentley and a 1967 red convertible Corvette Stingray.

Rothstein faces up to 100 years in prison at a June 9 sentencing.

Royal Palm Beach

Man arrested in theft of grave vases

A man has been charged with stealing more than $14,000 worth of brass cemetery vases.

The Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office reports that Shaun Beasley, 29, was arrested Friday after trying to sell the vases to a local recycling company.

The vases were reported stolen Thursday night from Our Lady Queen of Peace Cemetery. A detective calling recycling companies Friday learned two men had offered to sell 70 vases to one of the companies.

Miami

Ex-teacher admits to stealing identities

A former Broward County teacher has pleaded guilty to stealing students' identities.

Sheyla Diaz pleaded guilty Friday to one count of identity theft, said the U.S. Attorney's Office.

Court documents say Diaz used her position at Monarch High in summer 2008 to get the personal information of at least six former students.

Associated Press

Islamic center explosion may have been hate crime 05/11/10 [Last modified: Tuesday, May 11, 2010 11:57pm]

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