Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Landlord arrested, accused of power theft

OLDSMAR — A Safety Harbor landlord accused of stealing electricity and water at a group of Clearwater apartments was arrested Tuesday and charged with grand theft, the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office said.

Lawrence Ayers, 42, was arrested about 2:30 p.m. at St. Clair and Arch avenues in Oldsmar, about a block away from another of his apartment buildings. That building, like the Clearwater complex, was disconnected from utilities and condemned in the last month after deputies said they found signs of tampering in the outdoor power meters.

A patrol deputy saw Ayers' vehicle near the Oldsmar apartments and circled around to follow him as he pulled away, a Sheriff's Office release said. Before his arrest, Ayers rolled down his window and asked to report a stolen grill.

The grand theft charge is the most recent step in an ongoing investigation at the apartments at 15652, 15664, 15676 and 15750 Westminster Ave. Charges relating to the suspected Oldsmar theft at 3616 Meriden Ave. have been referred to the State Attorney's Office, but they are not part of the arrest, sheriff's spokeswoman Cecilia Barreda said.

About two dozen people, who had been paying $125 a week for rent and utilities, were displaced from Ayers' apartments when crews disconnected power late last month. At the scene of the Oldsmar eviction on June 19, Ayers said tenants were responsible for utilities, although he charged residents for their bills.

Drew Harwell can be reached at dharwell@sptimes.com or (727) 445-4170.

Landlord arrested, accused of power theft 07/07/09 [Last modified: Tuesday, July 7, 2009 7:59pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Justice Department says civil rights law does not protect gay people

    Working Life

    The Department of Justice has filed court papers arguing that a major federal civil rights law does not protect employees from discrimination based on sexual orientation in a case now being considered by a New York appeals court.

    Attorney General Jeff Sessions boards his plane at Andrews Air Force Base on Thursday. Sessions is traveling to El Salvador to meet with local leaders and discuss their efforts to fight gangs like MS-13. [Pablo Martinez Monsivais | Associated Press]
  2. St. Pete City Council plans to discuss plastic bag ban

    Local Government

    ST. PETERSBURG — A City Council committee will start considering a citywide ban on single-use plastic bags at Thursday afternoon's meeting. If it were to adopt such a measure, it would be the second city to do so in Florida.

  3. Ramsberger chosen for Chief Justice Award

    Courts

    The Florida Supreme Court's Chief Justice presented Pinellas Circuit Judge Peter R. Ramsberger the 2017 Chief Justice Award for Judicial Excellence.

    Pinellas-Pasco Circuit Judge Peter R. Ramsberger was presented the Chief Justice Award for Judicial Excellence by Chief Justice Jorge Labarga.
  4. Joint Chiefs chairman says military's transgender policy unchanged for now

    Military

    WASHINGTON — The U.S. will continue to permit transgender individuals to serve openly in the military until Defense Secretary Jim Mattis has received President Donald Trump's "direction" to change the policy and figured out how to implement it, the nation's top military officer said Thursday.

    Protestors gather in Times Square on Wednesday in New York. The rally was held after President Donald Trump's announcement of a ban on transgender troops serving anywhere in the U.S. military. [Frank Franklin II | Associated Press]
  5. Hudson accused of impersonating police officer

    Crime

    HUDSON — Pasco sheriff's deputies arrested a man on charges of impersonating a law enforcement officer after he was accused of pulling over a motorist and claiming to be an off-duty policeman.

    Scott Ziegler [Photo Courtesy of Pasco County Sheriff's Office]