New technology leads police to car theft arrest
Police said Friday that they have nabbed their first alleged car thief using a new license plate reader designed to identify stolen vehicles or cars that are not properly registered. Robert P. Evans, 49, of 1974 Sherwood St., Unit F, was charged with grand theft auto, aggravated battery, fleeing and eluding, reckless driving, petty theft, and possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia. On Friday, he was being held in the Pinellas County Jail in lieu of $131,050 bail. According to Clearwater police, an officer on patrol in the Walmart parking lot at 23106 U.S. 19 N on Thursday was using the new license plate reader when the system hit on a stolen license plate. It was later determined that the vehicle, a 2002 Toyota Solara convertible, was also stolen. While the officer was positioning himself "to tactically set up on the vehicle," police said, Evans came out of the store and got into the car. Evans put the Toyota in reverse and rammed the officer's cruiser, police said. As Clearwater police pursued the vehicle, Evans caused a crash at Palmetto Avenue and N Hercules Avenue, police said. Police were able to stop the Toyota and take Evans into custody. No injuries were reported.
Library branch will host drum circle
The Countryside Library, 2741 State Road 580, will host a "Welcome 2011'' community drum circle at 3:30 p.m. Dec. 29. Join Steve Turner from Giving Tree Music as he hosts the event to help ring in the new year. Kids, parents and grandparents are invited. All ages are welcome. The program is free. For more information, call (727) 562-4970.
Shelter joins Pets for Patriots cause
The Humane Society of Pinellas, 3040 State Road 590, Clearwater, has joined forces with Pets for Patriots Inc., a nonprofit designed to provide adult shelter pets with U.S. military personnel, both retired and active. Eligible adoptions include a dog or cat, at least 2 years old, large dogs and special needs pets. Any military personnel, either active or retired, can contact the Humane Society of Pinellas for help in finding a pet to match his or her lifestyle. For information, call (727) 797-7722, ext. 222 or visit petsforpatriots.org.
Vendors needed for business expo
Vendors and sponsors are needed for "Bring On the Business Expo,'' which will be from 4 to 8 p.m. Jan. 25 at the Conmy Center, 750A San Salvador Drive, Dunedin. It will feature more than 100 vendor, sponsor and exhibitor booths. Fee for vendors and exhibitors is $60 with registration before Thursday; and $75 afterward. Sponsor fee is $120 before Thursday or $150 afterward. Food vendor cost is free, but food vendors must provide small samples for up to 500 guests. Cost to attend the event is $5. Call Lil Barcaski at (727) 348-6682 or e-mail Lil@PlanBexpo.com.