Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Break-in at Pasco clubhouse solved cold turkey

HOLIDAY — In her robe and slippers, Delores Kietzer surveyed the damage.

It was 11 o'clock Wednesday night and the North Buena Vista Civic Association's clubhouse had been broken into. Kietzer, 74, is the president.

A neighbor saw three men slip out the back door and yelled for them to stop. The men ran. The witness called the Pasco County Sheriff's Office, whose investigators were now dusting the cupboards and bingo closet for fingerprints.

The thieves broke the closet door and made a mess of the place. They stole a DVD player and three packages of hot dogs, which were bought for the club's Friday night social. The thieves left the buns.

"Isn't that something," Kietzer said.

A deputy asked her:

"Do you by any chance have turkeys here?"

"Well, yes we do," Kietzer said. "We have four."

She had bought them that evening at Sweetbay, which was having a sale — 49 cents a pound. Each turkey was about 16 pounds. Every year the clubhouse feeds 40 to 80 people for Thanksgiving. The club serves turkey, potatoes and gravy, and everyone else brings a side dish.

Kietzer took the deputy to the freezer. They opened the door.

There were only three inside.

"As soon as they found out we had a missing turkey, they knew they had him," Kietzer said.

It turns out that another deputy spotted a man a quarter of a mile from the clubhouse, walking down Kibler Lane. In that man's backpack was a frozen turkey.

Sheriff's spokesman Kevin Doll said the man — Allen Thurston, a 21-year-old Dollar General Store clerk — claimed the turkey as his. He told deputies he had stolen it from Winn-Dixie.

As the deputy escorted Thurston and the turkey in his cruiser to the grocery store to return the nabbed bird, the deputy heard about the clubhouse break-in — and the missing fowl. So they re-routed to the clubhouse.

Thurston said he stole the frozen turkey because he was hungry, a report states. He is charged with burglary and theft. He remained Thursday at the county jail in lieu of $5,150 bail.

Kietzer said she doesn't believe it was hunger.

"If someone was hungry, we'd be glad to give them a meal," said Kietzer, whose club often puts on dinners — roasted pork, spaghetti, corned beef and cabbage.

"I think they are young men who knew better," she said.

The other two suspects are at large.

Authorities returned the turkey to Kietzer, who put it back in the freezer.

They are still going to cook it.

"Oh, yeah," she said. "They didn't hurt it."

Times researcher Shirl Kennedy contributed to this report. Erin Sullivan can be reached at or (727) 869-6229.

Break-in at Pasco clubhouse solved cold turkey 11/19/09 [Last modified: Thursday, November 19, 2009 8:43pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Rays acquire slick-fielding shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria from Marlins

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Chaim Bloom said the Rays weren't necessarily in the market for a shortstop. The team has a number of those. But when the Marlins recently began shopping Adeiny Hechavarria, well, that was too much to pass up.

    Adeiny Hechavarria has emerged as one of baseball’s top defensive shortstops in the past three seasons with the Marlins.
  2. Lightning journal: Forward Yanni Gourde agrees to two-year deal

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — Just three years ago, Yanni Gourde was fighting to stay in pro hockey.

    Tampa Bay Lightning center Yanni Gourde celebrates after scoring against the Florida Panthers during the second period of an NHL hockey game, Saturday, March 11, 2017, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara) TPA108
  3. Fennelly: About time Dave Andreychuk makes Hockey Hall of Fame

    Lightning Strikes

    It's Andy's time.

    And it's about time.

    Former Lightning captain Dave Andreychuk has been elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame. He had been eligible since 2009, a ridiculously long wait for someone who scored 640 goals, including a record 274 on the power play.

    LEFT: Dave Andreychuk talks at the podium as he is honored with a statue in front of the now-Amalie Arena.
  4. British government says 75 out of 75 buildings failed fire safety tests


    LONDON — Britain on Monday confronted a rapidly growing fire safety crisis after tests of the exterior cladding on dozens of public housing towers revealed a 100 percent failure rate, raising fears that this month's deadly inferno in London could be repeated elsewhere.

    Spanish surrealist painter Salvador Dali, presents his first Chrono-Hologram in Paris, France, in 1973. A Spanish judge on Monday June 26, 2017, has ordered the remains of artist Salvador Dali to be exhumed following a paternity suit by a woman named by Europa Press agency as Pilar Abel, 61 from the nearby city of Girona. Dali, considered one of the fathers of surrealism in art, died in 1989 and is buried in his museum in the northeastern town of Figueres. [Associated Press]
  5. Man convicted of second-degree murder in killing of Baby Doe, his girlfriend's daughter


    BOSTON — A man was convicted Monday of murder in the death of a 2-year-old girl who became known as Baby Doe after her remains washed up on the shore of a Boston Harbor island.

    Michael McCarthy’s friend Michael Sprinsky, far left, gets a hug from sister Laura Sprinsky after McCarthy is found guilty of second-degree murder in the death of Bella Bond, who became known as Baby Doe.