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Chopper forces suspected burglars to shore and capture in Apollo Beach

APOLLO BEACH — Two suspected burglars who tried to make a swim for it Wednesday night got caught after a low flying Sheriff's Office helicopter forced them back to shore.

A neighbor spotted two men in a white van drive up to a home under construction after 10:45 p.m. Wednesday, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office.

The neighbor called authorities and watched as the men crept back and forth between two homes across the road.

When sheriff's deputies arrived, the men jumped in the pond behind the homes and tried to swim across, but the wind from the helicopter forced them to turn back, deputies said.

The Sheriff's Office identified the men as Randall Smith, 42, and John Dabney Taylor, 20.

Both men said they were fishing and ran because they were afraid to be caught in a construction zone, the Sheriff's Office reported. But deputies said they found only wire cutters and wire.

Smith and Taylor were both charged with trespass on construction site, grand theft from a construction site, possession of burglary tools with intent to use and obstructing or resisting an officer without violence.

Smith was being held at the Hillsborough County Jail in lieu of $2,000 bail Friday. Taylor was being held without bail.

Chopper forces suspected burglars to shore and capture in Apollo Beach 04/23/10 [Last modified: Friday, April 23, 2010 6:56pm]
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