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Zephyrhills man accused of Wal-Mart shoplifting


Man accused of Wal-Mart shoplifting

After being nabbed by Wal-Mart's officers for trying to steal merchandise, Scott A. Preli tried to hide his drugs ­— stored in an eyeglass case — behind a computer tower in the room where he was being questioned, according to an arrest report from the Pasco County Sheriff's Office.

The report said that Preli, 28, of Zephyrhills, put items totalling $350.80 into a bag and walked out of the store, where he was stopped by loss prevention officers and escorted back inside.

The eyeglass case contained a hypodermic needle, a spoon and two plastic bags containing trace amounts of "an unknown white powder substance."

He is charged with retail theft and possession of drug paraphernalia. He is being held in the Land O'Lakes jail in lieu of $2,650 bail.


Firearms seized, 2 men arrested

Responding to a possible break-in at the Firing Line Gun Range on Ridge Road, a Port Richey Police officer noticed a red car leaving the scene and pulled it over.

Inside, Detective Billy Cabiness found two men and two guns — and possible closure to crimes spanning the Tampa Bay area.

The guns found in the car linked to crimes in Clearwater, and the two men — Phillip G. Norton Jr., 22 and of St. Petersburg, and Darius X. Walker, 21 and of St. Petersburg — are also suspected of theft and invasions in Pasco County.

Kevin Doll, spokesman for the Pasco County Sheriff's Office, would not comment on the Pasco County links, as the investigation is ongoing.

Saturday afternoon, Port Richey Detective James Ruland's voice was hoarse, after dealing with this case all night — and having worked straight on other cases since 5 a.m. Friday.

He lauded Cabiness for pulling over the suspects' car without incident.

"He got a couple of guns off the street," Ruland said. "And, hopefully, closed out a few other cases."

At this time, Norton and Walker are being held on several charges in the Pasco County jail in Land O'Lakes. Norton's bail is set at $132,000. Walker is being held in lieu of $127,000 bail.

Zephyrhills man accused of Wal-Mart shoplifting 11/29/08 [Last modified: Monday, December 1, 2008 1:26pm]
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