NEW PORT RICHEY
Divers find body of man in Anclote river
Sheriff's divers recovered the body of a man who jumped into the Anclote River early Friday morning after smoking crack cocaine, according to the Pasco County Sheriff's Office. The man was in his 50s, but authorities have not released his name, pending notification of his family. A friend told deputies that after the man got high, he became paranoid that law enforcement was after him, even though no such pursuit was under way, and he jumped into the river near 3547 Elfers Parkway. The friend called 911 about 6:20 a.m., and divers found the man a few hours later, sheriff's spokesman Kevin Doll said.
Man accused of exploiting woman
The man in charge of a 91-year-old woman's finances drained her bank account of $18,000 and charged $6,000 on her credit card, the Pasco County Sheriff's Office said. Donald R. Stewart, 61, was arrested Thursday and is charged with exploitation of the elderly. The woman has Alzheimer's disease and has been in a nursing home since July. Stewart, who has durable power of attorney for the woman's estate, lives in her New Port Richey home. Stewart remained at the Land O'Lakes jail on Friday in lieu of $10,000 bail.
Son charged in credit card plot
A 34-year-old man is accused of stealing his mother's credit card and buying $16,249 worth of items with it — then pawning the stuff so that he could buy drugs. Greg J. Dykstra of 9213 Thiess Drive in Hudson told deputies he would have kept on buying and pawning until his 63-year-old mother's credit card was maxed out — which would have occurred at between $30,000 and $50,000, according to a report from the Pasco County Sheriff's Office. Dykstra was charged Thursday with scheme to defraud. He has been in jail since Nov. 19 on charges of burglary and uttering a forged instrument. He remained at the Land O'Lakes jail on Friday in lieu of $12,500 bail.
Pair accused of stealing checks
Two men hired to do lawn work for an 80-year-old woman are accused of stealing checks from her home and cashing them. According to the Pasco County Sheriff's Office, David C. Hewitt, 39, of 13124 Ballast Court in Hudson cashed 19 checks totaling $4,235. Rodney Wayne Wickersham, 32, of 7300 Terrace Drive in Hudson cashed five checks totaling $1,840, a report said. Both men were arrested Thursday and charged with scheme to defraud. Hewitt remained at the Land O'Lakes jail on Friday in lieu of $10,000 bail. Wickersham was already in jail for failing to appear in court on theft charges. He remained at the jail Friday in lieu of $10,513 bail.