Search is on for owner of adrift kayak
U.S. Coast Guard officials are trying to determine if they have a missing person case on their hands after a kayak was found abandoned at the Clearwater Harbor Marina on Wednesday morning. The Coast Guard got a call about 7:45 a.m. from a marina employee who reported an unoccupied kayak was adrift in the water. The one-person kayak is red, 8 feet long and has multiple decals, including one that says "Mountain of Big Canoe," which is a gated community in northern Georgia. Coast Guard Petty Officer Tara Molle said authorities checked in with local law enforcement agencies and found there were no active search-and-rescue missions under way and no reports of missing persons. Officials are hopeful someone simply lost the kayak. They ask anyone with information about the kayak or its owner to call the Coast Guard at (727) 824-7506.
Two accused of stealing metal
Police said Wednesday they've arrested two men accused of stealing more than 6,000 pounds of metal from area businesses in recent months. According to Clearwater police, Luis Hipolito Vidal, 27, of 1281 Franklin St. was charged with three counts of burglary and one count each of dealing in stolen property and grand theft. Phillip Peewee Julius, 24, of 1280 Franklin St., No. 1, was charged with burglary and grand theft. A security guard at a business at 1150 Gould St. called authorities Friday to report two men were stealing scaffolding and supports from a fenced-in area. Police said they found Vidal and Julius loading more than $2,500 worth of metal into a U-Haul truck. Police found more than 6,000 pounds of metal in the truck. Detectives are still working to find out where it all came from. Investigators said it was likely the men intended to sell it as scrap. Police believe Vidal is also responsible for two burglaries at St. Cecelia Interparochial School at 1350 Court St. in early July.
Man sought for counterfeit checks
Authorities are looking for a man accused of passing counterfeit checks at local banks this summer. Police said he received money from three SunTrust banks in Clearwater in June and July. Detectives ask anyone with information to call the Clearwater police tip line at (727) 562-4080, then press 2.