Friday, April 20, 2018
Public safety

Pinellas police blotter: Crooks leave cellphone, wallet behind at crime scenes

Forgotten phone leads to robbery arrest

Police said a man who robbed a cab driver last month was arrested after he left his phone in the taxi and later called the cab company to try to get it back.

Lee Edward Ragin Jr., 27, was arrested May 21 after the incident in the 1800 block of 54th Place S, St. Petersburg.

Police said the cab driver was called to that area just after midnight on May 21. Ragin got in the cab, then exited, after which he tried to stab the driver in the chest with a knife. Ragin took cash from the taxi and left, an arrest report states.

After police were called, officers recovered the cellphone from the taxi. Ragin then met "with the police to recover his phone as he was calling the taxi company to get it back," the report states.

Ragin was charged with armed robbery.

ID left behind during home invasion

Police said another not-so-sophisticated criminal left behind crucial evidence at the scene of his crime recently: his wallet and identification.

St. Petersburg police said Brandon Austin Parker, 18, broke into a home in the 1700 block of 29th Avenue N, St. Petersburg, on May 17 and took cash and jewelry, which he used to buy the drug Spice.

Parker's wallet and ID were found in the home and he was arrested four days later on a burglary charge.

Man gets his wish after 911 call: Going to jail

A drunk man called 911 on May 22 saying he wanted to go to jail.

When Pinellas sheriff's deputies arrived in the 3100 block of 62nd Avenue N, St. Petersburg, Michael Cory Reece, 58, told them he needed to go to the jail to resolve some warrants, reports state.

When deputies ran his name through a computer, they found no active warrants. He was taken to jail anyway on a charge of misuse of 911.

Police: False report leads to take downs, arrest

A St. Petersburg man was arrested last month on charges that he made a false report of a crime, prompting officers to take two people down at gunpoint because of the bogus allegations.

Octavis Deandre Owens, 20, was arrested May 22.

St. Petersburg police said Owens told an officer that some people had robbed him. Officers and detectives tracked the suspects by using Owens' phone GPS, an arrest report states.

Officers said they took down two people at gunpoint, but later learned Owens had lied. When confronted, Owens said he made up the story because "he did not think the police would help him otherwise," the reports states.

"A total of four undercover detectives, four patrol officers, two robbery detectives and one street supervisor were involved during the investigation," the report states.

Gang member jailed after attack, deputies say

Pinellas deputies arrested a 25-year-old man in a violent attack in Oldsmar that they said was gang related.

Deputies said Miguel Angel Santana kicked in a woman's front door in the 120 block of Loblolly Court, then hit her twice in the head with a vase and kicked her in the head May 22. The woman was taken to the hospital.

Deputies said Santana is a member of the gang Folk Nation and committed the attack for the gang. He was charged with aggravated battery, burglary and trespassing.

Compiled by Times staff writer Chris Tisch.

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