The crime-themed playing cards that recently helped Polk County investigators find a murder suspect will soon be doled out to Hillsborough County jail inmates.
Officials with CrimeStoppers and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement in Lakeland last year started giving inmates decks of playing cards that feature brief synopses of unsolved Polk County homicides and pictures of victims. The cards include an 800 number where people can leave tips.
Last week, law enforcement officials announced that the cards prompted one Polk County inmate to call with information that helped them solve the May 2004 murder of 36-year-old Thomas Wayne Grammer. Grammer was shot inside his Lakeland apartment during a robbery, according to police.
The inmate recognized Grammer on one of the playing cards, and he gave investigators the name of a man who had bragged about killing Grammer.
Suspects Jason Seawright, 29, and Reggie Williams, 33, have since been charged with Grammer's murder.
FDLE spokesman Rick Morera said the success of the Polk County cards has CrimeStoppers in Hillsborough County working with agencies including the Tampa Police Department and Hillsborough Sheriff's Office to create a deck of cards for inmates.
"Hey, they've got nothing else to do," Morera said.
A CALMING INFLUENCE DEPARTS: The world just outside Jan Reilly's office in Tampa police headquarters can be stressful and frenzied. Reporters scrambling to get the details of the day's big crime, television camera crews setting up their bulky tripods as the police chief comes down for a press conference.
But step inside her office, sandwiched between those of the department's chief and assistant public information officers, and it is like being in someone's cozy home. Reilly, their assistant, often has music playing softly. She sometimes burns vanilla candles that smell like a warm cake.
Later this month, the candles will go dark. Reilly, 65, is retiring after 16 years with the department. She moved into her current position 12 years ago, and has been there through several public information officers, many reporters and countless crime stories.
"I like dealing with people," she said. "The job is stressful at times, but I've learned to appreciate the reporters' side."
So what will she do with her newfound free time? Not much, and that's just fine with her.
"I'm just going to stay home for a while and enjoy my grandkids," said Reilly, who has two grown children and four grandchildren. "I'm just going to be lazy."
MAYBE THERE'S A JAIL TEAM: Authorities say Nahil Mouad's love of soccer - coupled with his threats of violence - landed him in jail.
Mouad, 20, has been in the county jail since Feb. 6, when University of South Florida police charged him with threatening to set off a bomb and assaulting a school official.
County Judge Walter Heinrich revoked bond for Mouad, a Moroccan who is in the United States on a visa, said USF police spokesman Sgt. Mike Klingebiel.
Mouad's trouble actually began in January, when he went to a soccer coach and announced that he wanted to be on the USF team, Klingebiel said. Mouad isn't a student or employee of USF, so he wouldn't be eligible to play on the team. Besides, he was told, there are no open positions.
Klingebiel said Mouad, who was living in an apartment at 14608 N 43rd St., responded with a "vague threat." He announced "I am Muslim Indian, and you better watch out," according to a USF police report.
Then this month, Mouad showed up at the campus athletics facility to retrieve the tryout tape he had left with coaches. He got angry when one coach could not find the tape, Klingebiel said.
So angry, according to police, he threatened to blow up the coach.
Contact Shannon Colavecchio-Van Sickler at (813) 226-3373 or firstname.lastname@example.org.