Two men arrested in connection to baby formula heist at East Lake Walmart
Two men are accused of pilfering more than 100 cans of baby formula from a Walmart neighborhood market in the last few weeks, according to arrest reports.
Surveillance video from the store at 3400 East Lake Road captured William Kelly, 65, and Purvis Sealy, 26, pushing carts containing the cans, worth $15.97 each, out to the parking lot. The thefts occurred in late March and throughout April....
05/02/16 Public Safety
The deaths of three teen girls killed inside a stolen car as it sank into the depths of a muddy pond March 31 hit close to home for Pinellas County Commissioner Ken Welch.
Last August, three of his cousins were killed in a wreck in DeSoto County when a pickup struck their car as they returned to St. Petersburg from a religious convention in Fort Pierce.
When the accusations against the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office escalated last week, with critics saying that deputies let the girls die and calling for an independent investigation, Welch decided to visit the pond Friday....
A candidate in the Pinellas Sheriff’s race recently launched a Facebook page against current Sheriff Bob Gualtieri that displays a photoshopped image of Gualtieri as Adolf Hitler.
James McLynas, 57, of Indian Shores, wrote in the page that he is “running for Sheriff to protest Robert Gualtieri’s corruption.”...
A lot of questions have surfaced in recent weeks about the way Pinellas Sheriff’s deputies responded when a stolen car sank into a cemetery pond March 31, killing three teenage girls inside.
Critics have said that the deputies didn’t do enough to rescue the teens while Pinellas Sheriff Bob Gualtieri has maintained that the water conditions were not safe. A deputy wrote in a report related to the crash that they attempted a rescue, but noted there was “unstable ground” and “excessive water vegetation,” which made a rescue “too risky for those involved.”...
LARGO — One of the first words Aaron Davis' 2-year-old daughter, Audrey, learned to say was "dada." Now, she wonders why he isn't home.
A few days ago, she asked her mom, Ana Davis: "Are you on the phone with daddy?"
On Monday, Ana stared across a courtroom at Jason Lanard Mitchell, the man who struck and killed her husband, a popular chef, last April as Mitchell sped while drunk across downtown St. Petersburg. Three days after the crash, Ana gave birth to the couple's second child....
Dash cam video of stolen car crash that killed three girls raises questions on social media regarding Pinellas Sheriff's Office actions (w/video)04/22/16 Public Safety
A portion of a dash cam video from the March 31 crash that killed three teenage girls who were in a stolen car as it sank into a pond circulated on social media Friday, prompting questions about whether Pinellas Sheriff's deputies did enough to rescue them.
Earlier this week, the Sheriff's Office released its investigation report and several dash cam videos from the crash....
04/22/16 Public Safety
James McLynas was driving his Ford Explorer across the Howard Frankland Bridge on Oct. 30, 2013, when he noticed a pickup truck behind him. As he pulled into a transmission shop in St. Petersburg, several other cars swarmed the parking lot. Plainclothes Pinellas sheriff's deputies approached him.
"I hadn't even gotten my car fully stopped when I was surrounded," he said.
McLynas, 57, was arrested on several felony charges, including battery, title fraud and grand theft motor vehicle. Months later, records filed in his case didn't explain how deputies found him....
ST. PETERSBURG — Pinellas sheriff's deputies responded April 12 about a trespass warning at Jose Vanegas' house, but the call turned out to be "civil in nature," according to arrest reports.
While one of the deputies was still at the unincorporated St. Petersburg house at 5450 35th Way N, Vanegas called 911 and said "the other party to the initial complaint" was armed with a gun. Several deputies responded to the house, but no weapons were found....
DOVER — As the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office continued to investigate the deaths of John and Nancy Engelhart over the weekend, family members struggled to understand how the couple could have been murdered.
"I'm twisted up really hard over all of this, and there's no making sense of it," said Albert Engelhart of Tampa. "My brother and his wife were very, very special people and they devoted their lives to making life better for other people. "...
Craig Wall's case has taken several twists and turns in the past six years.
He represents himself on the charges that he killed his girlfriend and their infant son. He has repeatedly said he wants the death penalty.
The latest twist happened Thursday: After he refused to leave his jail cell to attend a hearing, six Pinellas sheriff's deputies in tactical gear ushered Wall to Pinellas Circuit Judge Philip Federico's courtroom....
04/11/16 Public Safety
Pinellas County sheriff's cruisers, police dogs and a helicopter converged on the pond as the Honda Accord slowly sank in the muddy depths.
The helicopter hovered high above the pond, pointing a spotlight into the dark muck.
"The car is bobbin' around. They're trying to crawl out," a deputy on the ground said. "Looks like someone at a window. I see a foot coming out."
Moments later, he radioed the pilot: "Can you see anyone swimming away? What do you see?"...
03/31/16 Public Safety
ST. PETERSBURG — Three teenage girls asked a stranger for a ride to Childs Park.
But before they were dropped off, the driver stopped at a Walmart at 22nd Street S. He stepped out, leaving the gold Honda Accord running.
Moments later, the girls and the car were gone.
"Who tryna get seen & wheels?" posted Dominique Battle, 16, on Facebook at 8:48 p.m. Wednesday.
Seven hours later, the Honda rolled into a pond inside a cemetery off Gandy Boulevard. The car sank within five minutes....
03/28/16 Public Safety
Nearly a year after an explosion erupted at a fuel facility in Tarpon Springs, officials have not determined what caused a gas cylinder to rupture and kill an employee.
The state fire marshal's office closed its investigation into the MagneGas Corp. explosion earlier this year, concluding it was an accident, but the agency couldn't identify the cause. Although the Occupational Safety and Health Administration cited MagneGas for several violations, records show they were unrelated to the blast....
A former Pinellas deputy was arrested Wednesday on a charge that she pointed a gun during a road rage incident in Palm Harbor last month.
Sheila Langlais, 46, was booked into the Pinellas County jail Wednesday, but was released the same afternoon on $5,000 bail.
On Feb. 7, Langlais, who was off duty and in her personal vehicle, had just pulled into the Twin Lakes apartments along U.S. 19 N in Palm Harbor to visit another off-duty deputy. She got into a traffic-related incident with Brett Dowd and his girlfriend, Brittany Byrne, as they tried to park their car. A baby was inside....
Pinellas deputies say woman tried to use synthetic urine during drug test
A 23-year-old woman was arrested on charges that she tried to pass a drug test at Pinellas County's misdemeanor probation office by using synthetic urine, an arrest report states.
During the test, Haley Fretto of Tampa smuggled the fake urine into the restroom, but left some evidence behind. After her arrest, Fretto told deputies she was worried she would test positive for marijuana and cocaine, the report says....