1. News

Honest panhandling sign in St. Petersburg lands man in jail

Published Sep. 14, 2016


Honest panhandling sign lands man in jail

Randy Lee Holcomb stood at the intersection of 53rd Avenue N and Fourth Street, according to an arrest report, holding a piece of cardboard that read: "Need $ for Weed."

But as police officers arrived, Holcomb, 34, tried to conceal his sign. Identified as transient in his arrest report, he told police he didn't have a vending permit.

Holcomb was jailed Aug. 30 on a charge of street vending.


Police: Suspect dumped crack in bleach, hid in gas station closet

A 24-year-old man is accused of stealing a car, hiding in a Shell gas station closet and dissolving crack cocaine in a bucket of bleach water, according to arrest reports.

On Sept. 7 about 6 p.m., Torron Nelson picked up some friends from a house in the 1900 block of 19th Street S in a stolen Chevy Cobalt and told them he had crack cocaine to sell: "I got a new car, I got some rocks I'm going to sling," an arrest report states.

When Nelson returned to the house, the owners of the car were waiting for him after tracking the location of the Chevy via GPS. Nelson ran away.

Witnesses texted Nelson to help the victims find him. Nelson had locked himself in a closet at the Shell at 1800 34th St. S and had dumped the crack cocaine he had stored in a candy container into a mop bucket of water and bleach.

When officers found Nelson, they emptied the bucket and found small pieces that tested positive for crack cocaine, according to arrest reports. Nelson was also carrying some marijuana when police arrested him.

Nelson, of St. Petersburg, was jailed on charges of possession of marijuana and a controlled substance, grand theft motor vehicle, and tampering with physical evidence.

Compiled by Laura C. Morel, Times staff writer.