Monday, July 23, 2018
Public safety

Clearwater police arrest seven in unlocked vehicle burglaries

CLEARWATER — Police rounded up seven people in three days in connection with a rash of burglaries of unlocked vehicles.

Two stolen firearms were also recovered, prompting a reminder from police that drivers should always lock their vehicles.

TAMPA BAY TIMES SPECIAL REPORT: STOLEN GUNS

PART 1: At least 82,000 guns stolen since 2007 are still missing in Florida

PART 2: Weak security makes gun stores a ‘rich environment’ for thieves

The first arrest was made Friday, when police said a 15-year-old boy was taken into custody for a series of unlocked vehicle burglaries.

Six arrests were made at two locations early Sunday morning.

Damir Hanna, 19, and a 16-year-old and 17-year-old were arrested at 4 a.m. Sunday at Park Place Apartments at 530 Fairwood Ave. after an officer spotted them driving a 2011 Hyundai Genesis that had been reported stolen from Tarpon Springs, according to Clearwater police. Officers said they found two stolen guns in the car.

All three face grand theft auto charges. Hannah also faces charges of carrying a concealed weapon, grand theft of a firearm and resisting arrest without violence, police said. The 16-year-old also faces a charge of being a delinquent in possession of a firearm charge.

Thirty minutes later, police said, someone reported that a group was pulling on vehicle door handles in the 800 block of Eldorado Avenue on Clearwater Beach. In that case, officers stopped another vehicle and said they found jewelry, wallets and a purse inside. They also arrested a 16-year-old and two 17-year-olds. All face multiple burglary charges.

In Clearwater alone, there have been 283 unlocked car burglaries so far this year and 26 guns stolen from cars, police said.

As for the seven people arrested this past weekend, they have a total of 62 prior arrests, said Clearwater police spokesman Rob Shaw.

The Tampa Bay Times is withhold the identities of the teens who were arrested because of their ages.

TAMPA BAY TIMES SPECIAL REPORT: HOW TEENS ARE DRIVING PINELLAS COUNTY’S CAR THEFT EPIDEMIC

HOT WHEELS: Kids are driving Pinellas County’s car-theft epidemic. It’s a dangerous — sometimes deadly — game.

THE CHASE: Cops, teen car thieves and a dangerous game

WRONG WAY: At 15, Isaiah Battle was the county’s No. 1 car thief. He had every reason to stop.

Comments
Waitress on taking down man who groped her: ‘We deal with a lot’

Waitress on taking down man who groped her: ‘We deal with a lot’

It was almost 11 p.m., and Emelia Holden was finishing up her shift as a server at a Savannah, Ga., pizzeria when she felt a hand on her backside.She reacted immediately, yanking the man backward by his red shirt as he tried to walk away and wrapping...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Police: 1 injured in building collapse on Miami Beach

Police: 1 injured in building collapse on Miami Beach

MIAMI BEACH — Police say a 12-story building on Miami Beach that was slated to be torn down has collapsed, injuring one person. Miami Beach police officials tweeted that the victim was taken to Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami on Monday morning. A ...
Updated: 1 hour ago
A flying umbrella injures a second beach-goer in a week

A flying umbrella injures a second beach-goer in a week

A portion of an aluminum beach umbrella was driven entirely through a 67-year-old woman’s ankle after it went airborne at a beach in New Jersey last week.The July 16 event was heralded as a freak accident.RELATED: London woman impaled by beach umbrel...
Updated: 1 hour ago
The man shot by a Lakeland store clerk after stealing $36 worth of beer has died

The man shot by a Lakeland store clerk after stealing $36 worth of beer has died

A man who was shot by a convenience store clerk as he stole $36 in beer has died, the Polk County Sheriff’s Office reports. Rennie Defoe, Jr. died at Lakeland Regional Health Medical Center on Saturday afternoon. The clerk who shot him, Mehedeun Hasa...
Updated: 2 hours ago
A new father is fatally shot after confronting a man who hurled the n-word at his friend, police say

A new father is fatally shot after confronting a man who hurled the n-word at his friend, police say

Chad Merrill, 25, was a brand new father of a 5-month-old baby when he was shot to death in the parking lot of his favorite bar in York County, Pennsylvania, early Saturday morning.It happened just moments after the alleged shooter, James Saylor, hur...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Man firing into Toronto cafes shoots 14 people, killing 2

Man firing into Toronto cafes shoots 14 people, killing 2

TORONTO — A man walked along a Toronto street firing a handgun into restaurants and cafes, shooting 14 people and killing two before dying after an exchange of gunfire with police. Police Chief Mark Saunders did not rule out terrorism as a motive, th...
Updated: 4 hours ago
In need of deputies, Hillsborough sheriff loosens college, tattoo and drug use rules for new hires

In need of deputies, Hillsborough sheriff loosens college, tattoo and drug use rules for new hires

TAMPA — After five years in the U.S. Marine Corps, Cody Gibb felt an urge to try something new. An uncle who retired from a career in law enforcement suggested he follow in his footsteps, and Gibb, a 24-year-old Brandon resident, liked the idea. "The...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Palmetto chief’s ‘puffy nipples’ comment prompts sexual harassment training

Palmetto chief’s ‘puffy nipples’ comment prompts sexual harassment training

PALMETTO — A Florida police chief and officers in his department are being ordered by city officials to undergo sexual harassment training following an investigation about inappropriate comments, including one the chief made about a female officer’s ...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Five times Florida’s ‘stand your ground’ law sparked controversy

Five times Florida’s ‘stand your ground’ law sparked controversy

Florida’s controversial self defense law is in the news again.The killing of Markeis McGlockton, who was shot by another man after the two argued over a parking space on Thursday, is just the most recent in a long succession of controversies over the...
Published: 07/23/18
Community holds vigil in Clearwater for man killed in parking lot dispute, protests ‘stand your ground’

Community holds vigil in Clearwater for man killed in parking lot dispute, protests ‘stand your ground’

Friends, family and supporters filled the sanctuary at Mt. Carmel Baptist Church on Sunday night calling for justice in the death of Markeis McGlockton last week.The vigil and protest, organized by the Clearwater/Upper Pinellas County Branch of the N...
Updated: 5 hours ago