boy, 14, accused of ransacking man's home
An eighth-grader at Paul R. Smith Middle School is accused of breaking into a 44-year-old man's home and ransacking it Tuesday morning, causing an estimated $30,000 in damage. The 14-year-old and another teenage boy entered the home on Abacus Road in Holiday and ripped drywall off the walls and ceiling, cut electrical wires, smashed furniture, and shattered windows and lights, according to a report from the Pasco County Sheriff's Office. The resident came home at 11 a.m. and found the boys standing on his bed, breaking apart his ceiling with a hammer, a report states. The boys threatened the resident with the hammer and then fled. The 14-year-old, whose name is being withheld because he is a minor, was arrested Tuesday. He is charged with armed burglary and criminal mischief, and is in juvenile custody. The other boy is at large.
Police discover marijuana house
A 66-year-old man is accused of running a marijuana grow house out of his Shady Hills home. Harry "Fred" Skinner, of 18319 Rigsby Road, is charged with cultivation of marijuana, possession of marijuana with intent to sell and possession of drug paraphernalia. Authorities raided Skinner's home Tuesday morning and found 26 marijuana plants and 268 grams of loose marijuana, according to a report from the Pasco County Sheriff's Office. Skinner is being held at the county jail in lieu of $10,150 bail.
Air conditioners stolen, sold as parts
A 20-year-old man is accused of stealing the air-conditioning units from four of his Embassy Hills neighbors in recent weeks. Kenneth R. Bronk dismantled the units and sold the parts for money, causing nearly $11,000 in damage, according to the Pasco County Sheriff's Office report. Bronk, of 9305 Sterling Lane, was arrested Tuesday and is charged with four counts of grand theft. As of Wednesday, he was being held in custody in lieu of $8,000 bail.
Petco is the company that funded a grant for a Science Lab program at Mary Giella Elementary School. A story in Wednesday's Top of the Class page named an incorrect company.