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Two arrested in string of thefts at Countryside mall

OLDSMAR

2 arrested in string of mall purse thefts

Two suspects were arrested Tuesday in Oldsmar in connection with at least 10 purse thefts in July and August at Clearwater's Westfield Countryside mall, according to the Clearwater Police Department and the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office. Aletha Karalus, 48, and David Richardson Jr., 21, both of Oldsmar, were each charged with scheming to defraud, police said. Police said the two suspects worked together — one distracting a victim while the other swiped his or her wallet or purse. They then used the stolen credit cards at various stores to buy merchandise and gift cards, authorities said. Detectives identified the suspects through store surveillance videos. Sheriff's Office detectives believe the duo also committed similar crimes at Publix and Albertsons supermarkets in the area. Karalus was being held in jail in lieu of $70,000 bail. Richard was being held in lieu of $25,000.

TARPON SPRINGS

Sponge boat to be pulled from river

The city will pull its sponge boat from the Anclote River until it can find the money to restore it. City Commissioner Chris Alahouzos had wanted $27,000 to begin repairs on the 73-year-old vessel, which the city bought in 1994. The boat, named the Tarpon Springs, needs structural and mechanical repairs before it can be boarded or made seaworthy. Commissioners agreed Tuesday that the boat needs repairs, but they declined to put aside money for the project, citing budget concerns.

COUNTYWIDE

Appraiser's site has new resource

A new resource has been added to the property appraiser's Web site that includes historical median and mean sales trends. The reports showing annual and quarterly sales of property are broken into two categories: sales in beaches and townships, and sales countywide. The new link is in the center of the home page. Log on to www.pcpao.org.

In Sports

Cross country boys to watch as the season kicks off, 6C.

Pinellas deaths

Branch, Caron A.

Crane, Janice

Green, Charles

Hall, Pearlie M. H.

Hohn, Joseph M. Jr.

Jackson, Castaderick

Johnson, Marianne

Lee, David F.

Maudsley, Phyllis E.

Randolph, Shirley A.

South, Paul S.

Sterling, Edward

Yelverton, Wallace

This list is from detailed obituaries published in Section B.

Two arrested in string of thefts at Countryside mall 09/10/08 [Last modified: Wednesday, September 10, 2008 8:11pm]
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