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WITHOUT HIS JET CAR, THE VROOM IS GONE

Doug Rose's knees went weak when he walked out of his apartment on Nov. 1 and saw his life's work had disappeared. The Green Mamba, a historic and popular jet car he built with his own hands in July 1968, would cost about $300,000 to replace, he said. A maintenance worker at Rose's apartment complex told the 69-year-old that he had just seen someone carting off a white trailer, which Rose said had the car inside. "It's my life," Rose said. "It's my work. I built the thing and I've been taking care of it for 40 years." Rose and his wife take the Green Mamba to about 30 drag racing shows a year, where they show off the vehicle's ability to saw cars in half in two minutes. The shows are his sole source of income, he said. The Hillsborough Sheriff's Office is investigating. Anyone with information is asked to call (813) 247-8200 or Crime Stoppers toll-free at 1-800-873-8477.

TAMPA

Truck crashes into restaurant; 1 hurt

A vehicle crashed through a Church's Chicken window Monday night, shattering the glass pane and injuring a customer before driving off, police and witnesses said. Jessica McIntyre, manager of the store at 3201 E Hillsborough Ave., said she heard a boom about 7:15 p.m., looked up from her register and saw a white, older model Toyota truck backed through the floor-to-ceiling pane. McIntyre quickly jotted down the license plate number and gave it to police. Customer Ron A. Harris, 37, was seated near the window at the time of the crash. He was taken to Tampa General Hospital, where he was in good condition, Tampa police Officer Rich Morea said. Police were still searching for the driver of the truck late Monday.

CLEARWATER

Officers say man tried to run over 5

A Clearwater man was arrested early Sunday on charges that he tried to run over five people with a car, according to a Pinellas County Sheriff's Office arrest report. Joel Lara-Hernandez, 28, was charged about 2 a.m. Sunday with three counts of aggravated assault with a motor vehicle and driving under the influence. The incident started when Lara-Hernandez was told that he couldn't buy beer at the Dodge Store, 466 Patricia Ave., Dunedin, because he didn't have identification, according to the arrest report. He got in his 1988 Volkswagen Jetta and drove across the parking lot, attempting to run over five people, two of whom were employees, deputies said. No one was injured.

ST. PETERSBURG

Pinellas man jailed in sexual assault

A 54-year-old South Pasadena man has been arrested on charges he sexually assaulted a 13-year-old relative, the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office said. John W. Gardner faces one count of sexual battery and two counts of lewd and lascivious battery. Gardner, who was arrested Friday, is accused of forcing the girl to perform sexual acts and assaulting her, the Sheriff's Office said. He is being held in the Pinellas County jail on $140,000 bail.

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