Wednesday, June 20, 2018
Public safety

Crime Stoppers, Straz Foundation still working out Seminole Heights reward money

TAMPA — You can collect $110,000 in reward money for information leading to an arrest in the Seminole Heights killings, but for now you’ll have to make two stops.

The David A. Straz Foundation announced Monday it would contribute $10,000 to a reward fund that had reached $100,000, but a news release later indicated the foundation hadn’t told the reward administrator, Crime Stoppers of Tampa Bay.

"In order for us to advertise a reward, it has to have an agreement with the agency," said Master Deputy Kelly McLaren, Crime Stoppers’ law enforcement program coordinator. "I have not spoken to that person. He has the right to offer the reward on his own."

Straz, a philanthropist and retired banker who is exploring a run for Tampa mayor in 2019, joins a number of individuals and institutions that have offered money to aid in the search for whoever is responsible for four shooting deaths during the past five weeks in Southeast Seminole Heights.

PREVIOUS COVERAGE: Seminole Heights thanks officers by serving them baked ziti

Asked Tuesday whether the Straz Foundation had checked first on making the contribution, spokeswoman Leslie Spencer said only that Crime Stoppers "were contacted and we are waiting a call back."

Last week, restaurateur Richard Gonzmart pledged $9,000 to the reward fund but did so through the organization Rise Tampa, which had an agreement with Crime Stoppers, Deputy McLaren said.

Crime Stoppers gave this breakdown of the reward money: $5,000 from Crime Stoppers; $15,000 from Rise Tampa; $10,000 from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement; $20,000 from the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; and $50,000 from the FBI.

Anyone with information regarding the identity of a suspect or suspects who wants to be eligible for a cash reward can call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-873-8477 (TIPS), report anonymously online at www.crimestopperstb.com, or send a mobile tip using the P3 Tips Mobile application.

To be eligible for the reward, individuals must contact Crime Stoppers first.

Comments
15 arrested in Hillsborough construction fraud sting, one for the eighth time

15 arrested in Hillsborough construction fraud sting, one for the eighth time

TAMPA — The contractors arriving at the Brandon home thought they were meeting with a potential customer. They were wrong.In fact, the would-be clients were undercover detectives and the contractors, lacking a license to ply their trade, left the hom...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Couple leased someone else’s home to 12 families at same time, Largo police say

Couple leased someone else’s home to 12 families at same time, Largo police say

LARGO — At least 12 families leased the same Largo home at the same time and lost as much as $4,300 each in a fraud scheme run by a couple who portrayed themselves as owners of the property, Largo police said.Police learned of the scheme Tuesday afte...
Updated: 4 hours ago
St. Pete police investigating social media threat against Pride event

St. Pete police investigating social media threat against Pride event

ST. PETERSBURG — Police are investigating a threat against St. Pete Pride weekend based on a social media comment left on a Tampa Bay Times story.A Facebook commenter used an alias to post the threat on a story about a pop-up gay club planned for the...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Driver in fatal Tampa hit-and-run turns himself in

Driver in fatal Tampa hit-and-run turns himself in

TAMPA — The driver who was sought in a fatal hit-and-run on Sunday night has turned himself in.Police say Roger Herelle, 33, told detectives Wednesday he was involved in the crash that killed Sally Ann McClellan Webb, 58.Police had had been seeking t...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Five guns taken in 30 reported break-ins of unlocked cars in Clearwater

Five guns taken in 30 reported break-ins of unlocked cars in Clearwater

CLEARWATER — Thieves have made off with at least five guns after breaking into unlocked vehicles in recent days, police said Wednesday morning.Over the past three days, a group of people have been breaking into unlocked vehicles across the city. Clea...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Police investigating body found floating near Davis Islands

Police investigating body found floating near Davis Islands

TAMPA — Police are working to recover a body that was found floating in the water near the Davis Island Sea Basin on Wednesday morning.It is uncertain how the body ended up there, according to police.This is a developing story. Stay with tampabay.com...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Pasco Sheriff: Hudson man faces sexual battery charges

Pasco Sheriff: Hudson man faces sexual battery charges

HUDSON — A 33-year-old man is facing charges of sexual battery and rape after Pasco County Sheriff’s deputies said he assaulted a 14-year-old girl.Christopher Hall, who was 31 at the time of the incident, forced the victim into a bathroom, took off h...
Updated: 9 hours ago
SB traffic on I-275 slowed in St. Petersburg after car jumps median

SB traffic on I-275 slowed in St. Petersburg after car jumps median

ST. PETERSBURG — A car that is straddling the center concrete barrier is causing a visual slowdown Wednesday morning on Interstate 275.The incident occurred sometime around 7:30 a.m.The passenger side of the car can be seen hanging along the median o...
Updated: 9 hours ago
New Port Richey man faces sexual battery charge

New Port Richey man faces sexual battery charge

NEW PORT RICHEY — A 33-year-old man was arrested Monday on a charge of sexual battery, accused of assaulting a 10-year-old girl.Jonathan Wells was booked into the Pasco County jail, where he was being held Tuesday without bail.The assault took place ...
Published: 06/19/18
St. Petersburg power outage affects thousands

St. Petersburg power outage affects thousands

More than 2,000 Duke Energy customers are without power after a cluster of storms rolled through earlier this afternoon, according to Duke Energy.The area without power stretches along 62nd Avenue N from 12th Street N to 30th Way N, according to the ...
Published: 06/19/18