LAND O'LAKES — Tanner Harp and his brother, Tony, awoke at 4 a.m. Oct. 14 when their home alarm went off. After determining everything inside was fine, they went outside and noticed two men hanging out in the street.
The strangers refused to explain what they were doing there at that hour. Instead, the Pasco County Sheriff's Office said, they sped off in their pickup.
So the Harp brothers followed and called 911.
Deputies quickly pulled over the suspicious duo and determined they were responsible for a string of car burglaries in the neighborhood.
"As a result of the Harps' willingness to get involved, eight auto burglaries were solved and stolen properties were returned to the victims," the Sheriff's Office said.
The Harps received the Citizens Service Award at this week's quarterly awards by the Sheriff's Office.
The other honorees included:
• Dayspring Academy students James Donlon, Peter Fellman, Diana Shanks and Darlene Mills, and passer-by Rex Clark, who received the Special Recognition Award for safely stopping and evacuating a school bus after the driver suffered a seizure.
• Detective John Sharpe, who received the Employee Incentive Award for arresting drug dealers as part of the Tactical Narcotics Team. During the fourth quarter of 2010, Sharpe was directly responsible for 48 narcotics investigations that resulted in 22 felony and 16 misdemeanor arrests. Those investigations resulted in the seizure of about 6 pounds of marijuana, 1 pound of crystal methamphetamine, 230 prescription pills, four vehicles, 23 firearms and $41,000 in cash.
• Deputy Marshall DeBerry, who received a Medal of Valor/Lifesaving Award for wresting a loaded rifle from a man trying to kill himself. The man had already shot himself once in the jaw and was attempting to refire when DeBerry kicked in the bedroom door of the New Port Richey home and seized the firearm.
• Deputy Gene Smith, who received a Lifesaving Award for applying pressure to the stab wounds of a man injured in a fight last April at a Land O'Lakes wedding reception. He helped stop the blood loss and kept the victim conscious until Pasco Fire Rescue arrived.
• Sgt. William Moltzan, who received the Lifesaving Award for quickly saving a woman who tried to hang herself.
• Detention Deputy William Wilkinson, who received the Employee Incentive Award for numerous searches revealing contraband at the jail and for his assistance at a Halloween night crash. Wilkinson found the injured pedestrian who had been hit by a car and led deputies to the trash can where the victim had tossed his prescription drugs.
• William "Phil" Caples, a criminal analyst who received the Employee Incentive Award for helping detectives clear multiple felony cases.
• Cpl. Charles Keppel Jr., who received the Meritorious Service Medal for his volunteer service to the Sheriff's Office Explorer Post 916. He has trained at least eight young people through that program who later became Pasco deputies.