In separate cases, two boys, both 13, charged with abusing young girls
Two 13-year-old boys were arrested Sunday on charges they sexually abused much younger girls. The cases were separate and unrelated incidents.
One boy, who lives in Land O'Lakes, is accused of raping an 8-year-old girl on Saturday. He is charged with involuntary sexual battery. The teen told authorities he could not control his urges, according to the Pasco County Sheriff's Office.
The other 13-year-old, of Wesley Chapel, is accused of repeatedly molesting a 6-year-old girl. He "told his father he had learned to do what he did from sex education and watching television," and said he "ruined" the girl's life, a report states. The boy is charged with sexual battery.
Both teens were taken into juvenile custody. The Times is withholding their names due to their ages.
Grandma's jewelry sold for Jesus tattoos
Two things started happening after Michael Watts moved back into his grandmother's house, authorities said:
Jewelry began disappearing from his grandmother's jewelry box.
And Watts, who had no job and little money, kept coming home with new tattoos.
When the grandmother first confronted Watts, he denied stealing her jewelry, according to a Pasco County Sheriff's Office report. But in a later interview with detectives, the report said, Watts admitted pilfering the gold bracelets, hoop earrings, necklace and a half-carat diamond — altogether worth $3,400 — and selling them at a cash-for-gold kiosk at Gulf View Square mall. He told detectives he used the money for tattoos and other things.
"I did a stupid thing," Watts told detectives.
Watts, 20, was charged Tuesday with grand theft and was being held in the Land O'Lakes jail in lieu of $2,000 bail.
Booking photos show a Christian fish inked on his left ankle and a colorful tattoo on his right forearm that says, "Jesus Saves." A third tattoo on his left forearm shows the outline of a Christ-like figure with the wording, "There is a Light That Never Goes Out."
Man accused of trying to sell in-laws' home
A 28-year-old man tried to sell his in-laws' home — without their permission, according to the Pasco County Sheriff's Office.
A report states Louis A. Dunbar collected payments on the Hudson home from the buyer from June 16 till July 29 for a total of $1,000. "The money was from the victim to the defendant to secure the residence for a final sale," the report says.
Dunbar, of 12800 Parkwood St. in Hudson, is charged with scheme to defraud. He is being held in the Pasco County jail in lieu of $10,000 bail.
School bus driver cited in car accident
A Pasco school bus driver was cited for careless driving Wednesday morning after rear-ending a car on U.S. 41, the Florida Highway Patrol reported.
Venus Stone, 38, was driving 49 students to Land O'Lakes High School about 7:15 a.m. when she failed to stop behind another car, FHP said. The accident happened just north of Causeway Boulevard.
The driver of the 1999 Chevy, Giezi Morales, was treated for minor injuries at Spring Hill Regional Hospital. No one else was hurt.
The crash slowed traffic for about an hour, authorities said. Another bus was sent to the scene to transport the students to school, said district spokeswoman Summer Romagnoli.
Nursing home worker accused of stealing
A receptionist at a nursing home is accused of stealing $3,915 from the trust fund accounts of four residents at Heritage Park — all women, ages 85, 86, 90 and 101 years old, according to the Dade City Police Department.
Janice Lynn Smith, 27, was arrested at the nursing home when she showed up for work Wednesday morning. She is charged with four counts of exploitation of the elderly.
Authorities said the investigation began Tuesday when the home's administrator called, worried about discrepancies in the accounts found by staffers.
Smith, of 36940 Howard Ave. in Dade City, admitted to taking the money, authorities said.
Staff members at Heritage Park, 37135 Coleman Ave. in Dade City, declined to comment on the incident. Smith was fired Wednesday morning, the Police Department said.
This is her first arrest in Florida, according to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.
Wandering 3-year-old leads caretaker to jail
A 3-year-old boy was found wandering in a Zephyrhills neighborhood at 5:30 a.m. Monday. An officer tracked down the child's home to find no one home, the doors unsecured and a knife on the living room floor, according to the Zephyrhills Police Department.
The child's caretaker — Brittney Sharpe, 25 — came home about 6:30 a.m., a report states. "He must have woken up this time," Sharpe told the officer, according to the report.
Sharpe, of 6116 Ninth St., was arrested and charged with child neglect. She was released from the Pasco County jail Tuesday on $5,000 bail.