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Felon, 24, charged with lewd act on girl

A 24-year-old man was arrested Wednesday on a charge of committing a lewd and lascivious act on a child under 16, according to Sheriff's Office reports.

Stewart L. Persinger, of 23106 McKaig Lane, is accused of fondling a girl, 15, at least seven times during the past few weeks at his home, authorities said.

Court records show Persinger has more than 20 felony convictions for grand theft, burglary and dealing in stolen property. He was held late Thursday at the county jail on $30,000 bail.

11-year-old boy charged with burglary, theft

NEW PORT RICHEY _ An 11-year-old boy was arrested Wednesday after a brief chase by sheriff's deputies behind his home on Westbay Avenue.

The boy, whose name is being withheld by the Times because of his age, is accused of crawling into a plumber's van and stealing a pager and a two-way radio. He also is accused of breaking into a home and stealing more than $285.

When deputies identified him and went to his house, the boy, who attends Moon Lake Elementary School, jumped out a back window and ran into nearby woods, Sheriff's Office reports say.

He eventually turned himself in. Charged with two counts of burglary and two counts of grand theft, the boy was taken to the county's juvenile detention center and released to his parents.