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. Pinellas deputies go door-to-door before dawn to arrest unlicensed contractors


    Pinellas County deputies have never conducted a widespread operation to arrest suspects who use hammers, saws and promises of majestic craftsmanship to swindle homeowners out of thousands of dollars.

    That changed Tuesday.

    Pinellas Sheriff deputies J. Short, left, and T. Festa, right, arrest suspect Randy Ronchi, center, in Largo early Tuesday, as part of a joint roundup of unlicensed contractors. [SCOTT KEELER | Times]
  2. New Florida driver's licenses available in Tampa Bay

    State Roundup

    The new Florida IDs are beginning to roll out across the state, with some locations in Tampa Bay already carrying the cards.

    The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles announced it will begin to issue the new Florida driver license and ID card this month in various locations across the state. [Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles]
  3. Come on down, former 'Price Is Right' announcer Rich Fields; you're the new afternoon DJ on Q105


    There's a new afternoon drive host on classic hits radio station WRBQ-FM, better known as "Q105."

  4. From the food editor: Five things I'm enjoying in the food world right now


    Sometimes your notebook is scribbled with little thoughts here and there, things you come across in the food world and want to share but aren't sure how or when. Well, folks, I need to get some of this off my chest. Here is a somewhat random collection of culinary things I am really enjoying right now:

    Espresso Sea Salt Cookie Sandwiches with a cooked buttercream frosting, from St. Petersburg home bakery Wandering Whisk Bakeshop. Photo by Jennifer Jacobs.
  5. In Syria's Raqqa, IS makes last stand at city's stadium


    BEIRUT — U.S.-backed, Kurdish-led forces battling the Islamic State group in Syria captured the city hospital in Raqqa on Tuesday, leaving IS militants holed up at the local stadium, their last stand in the fight over what was once the extremists' de facto capital.

    This frame grab from video released Sunday, Oct. 15, 2017 and provided by Furat FM, a Syrian Kurdish activist-run media group, shows Syrian Islamic State group fighters who surrendered entering a base of the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), in Raqqa, Syria. A spokesman for the SDF in Syria says it will be in control of the northern city of Raqqa "within a few days" after attacking the last pocket held by the Islamic State group. SDF fighters launched an operation to retake the last IS-held pocket of Raqqa after some 275 militants and their family members surrendered. [Furat FM via AP]