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Man charged in theft from woman's purse

TARPON SPRINGS

Man charged in theft from woman's purse

An 18-year-old-man asked an older neighbor for a ride, then stole nearly $1,400 from her purse while she drove him around, according to a police report. Derek Thomas, who lives on Walton Village Way, was arrested Wednesday on a charge of grand theft. Thomas stole the money out of the purse of a 73-year-old grandmother after she agreed to take him to a bus station in Clearwater on May 6, the woman said Wednesday. The man distracted her by "running her in circles" and getting her lost, the report said. The woman said Thomas took her $690 Social Security disbursement, $200 she had received from family members as gifts and several hundred dollars that she had saved since Christmas to buy birthday presents for relatives. She noticed the money was missing after Thomas left her car and she stopped for a doctor's visit, she said. The St. Petersburg Times is not identifying the woman. Thomas was taken to the Pinellas County Jail, where he is being held in lieu of $2,000 bail.

PALM HARBOR

Wife arrested after fight with husband

A Dunedin woman was arrested Wednesday night, accused of punching her husband in the crotch and pouring a drink in his lap, said a police report. Jessica E. Wires, 24, was arrested on a misdemeanor charge of domestic battery in the incident, which happened just before 6:30 p.m. The couple was involved in domestic dispute inside a vehicle at a Whataburger restaurant in Palm Harbor when the incident occurred, the report said. Wires, also known as Jessica Ellis, was booked at the Pinellas County Jail and released on her own recognizance.

Mortgage officer accused of theft

A loan officer at a mortgage brokerage business was arrested Wednesday after he stole files containing personal financial information, said an arrest report. Stephen Anthony Gray of Safety Harbor was arrested on a charge of grand theft and was being held Thursday at the Pinellas County Jail in lieu of $2,000 bail. Gray, 42, is accused of stealing five loan files from Gulf Coast Processing and Finance at 34931 U.S. 19 after he was recently demoted, according to the report. On Tuesday, Gray did not show up for work and began calling clients and telling them the company had lost its license and that they should deal directly with him, said co-owner Dennis Rosa. It was then that company officials realized that some files were missing. The company has already notified customers whose information was breached, Rosa said. "All we want to do is try to protect our clients," Rosa said.

Saturday is open house at school

The Suncoast Waldorf School, 1857 Curlew Road, Palm Harbor, will hold a carnival and open house from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday. Included in the event will be old-fashioned children's games, face painting and crafts. A talent show by the school's students will also be held. The enrollment director and teachers will be on hand to answer questions. For information, call (727) 786-8311.

Man charged in theft from woman's purse 05/14/09 [Last modified: Thursday, May 14, 2009 10:16pm]

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