Public asked to help identify robbery suspect
Pinellas County Sheriff's Office detectives are investigating a Friday afternoon bank robbery. They are seeking the public's help in identifying the suspect in the robbery, which occurred at the BB&T bank at 35098 U.S. 19 N. According to detectives, the suspect entered the bank, presented the teller with a handwritten note that implied he had a weapon, and demanded cash. The teller complied and the suspect then fled on foot with an undisclosed amount of cash. No weapon was seen. The suspect is described as a white male, about 6 feet tall, and weighing about 200 pounds. He wore a dark blue or black hooded sweatshirt and a dark blue or black baseball cap with the word "Champion" on it. Anyone with information that may assist the Sheriff's Office in the investigation is asked to contact Detective Tony Stevens of the Robbery/Homicide Unit at 727-582-6200 or to remain anonymous contact Crime Stoppers, toll-free, at 1-800-873-TIPS (8487).
Inmate accused of witness tampering
A Pinellas County Jail inmate used jail and county resources to intimidate and threaten a witness, authorities say. Jason M. Kroesen of Tarpon Springs sent a witness letters to get him to sign a false affidavit to change his testimony, according to an arrest affidavit signed by a Clearwater police officer. The letters were signed by Kroesen and certified by a jail notary. In them, Kroesen also informed the witness that if he didn't testify a certain way for an upcoming trial that he would be named as a confidential informant and harmed, the affidavit said. In one of the letters, Kroesen wrote, "Ignoring me is not good either! I'm not going away until retribution comes to me," the affidavit said. Court records show Kroesen is appealing a 10-year sentence for charges of trafficking in illegal drugs, sale or possession of oxycodone and possession of oxycodone. Kroesen, 30, was arrested Thursday on a charge of tampering with a witness.
Wreath decorating winners listed
The Downtown Development Board has announced the winners of the annual wreath decorating contest at the Downtown Clearwater Holiday Light-Up held last month. First place and the Peoples' Choice Award, worth $100 and $25 respectively, went to Annie Gray. Lori and Kristin Storer took second place and a $50 award. Ascension Day School Pre-K Class and its teachers, Liz Walker and Susan Kostacky, won third place and a $25 prize.
Yacht Club seeks regatta volunteers
The Clearwater Yacht Club will offer a class from 10 a.m. to noon Jan. 22 at Clearwater Yacht Club, 830 S Bayway Blvd., to educate anyone interested in volunteering to work on the race committee at the club's regattas. The hands-on class covers a variety of race-related topics. A sandwich buffet lunch will be provided afterward. To reserve a spot, call (727) 447-6000.