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    Tip thwarts robbery and beating, deputies say

    Authorities show up to warn the intended victim and encounter four suspects and a loaded pistol.

    By RICHARD DANIELSON, Times Staff Writer
    © St. Petersburg Times
    published February 1, 2003


    OLDSMAR -- Things might have gone much differently for James Hendley if Pinellas County sheriff's deputies had arrived at his Eastlake Woodlands home a few minutes later Thursday.

    As it was, three deputies pulled up to his address on Poole Place at 3:15 p.m., just before four people showed up to rob him at gunpoint and beat him, according to officials.

    "They were in the right place at the right time," sheriff's spokesman Sgt. Greg Tita said of Deputies Richard Stemboroski, Richard Fisk and Jason Schein.

    Sheriff's officials say Cindy Frances Stanley, 22, an exotic dancer who had occasionally stayed at Hendley's home, stole a 9mm handgun from Hendley's nightstand early Wednesday and left.

    When Hendley, 61, discovered the theft, he called Stanley and told her to return the gun, Tita said.

    Instead, she planned to return with three friends, Elizabeth Diane Chandler, 22, of Tampa and two brothers, 15 and 16, from Tampa. The Times is not identifying the teens because of their ages.

    While the four were driving from Tampa, the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office got a tip that they were headed to Hendley's home to rob him. Hillsborough deputies notified their counterparts in Pinellas, who dispatched deputies to the home at 3:05 p.m., Tita said.

    Stemboroski, Schein and Fisk, a civil deputy who serves subpoenas and other legal papers, arrived 10 minutes later. As they were making contact with Hendley, they saw a 1997 white Plymouth Neon approach. On seeing the deputies, Chandler, who was driving, turned the car around and left, Tita said.

    The car was pulled over a few blocks away. Deputies found the pistol, loaded with eight rounds of ammunition and with the hammer cocked, under a seat. Stanley told deputies that she planned to pistol whip Hendley and would have shot him if she thought she needed to, Tita said. She also acknowledged that she planned to rob him of cash, a computer and other items.

    Contacted Friday, Hendley declined to comment.

    All four suspects were charged with attempted home invasion robbery, Tita said. Stanley also was charged with grand theft and carrying a concealed weapon and was being held at the Pinellas County Jail Friday in lieu of $40,000 bail. Chandler was being held on $10,000 bail. The two teenagers were booked into the county Juvenile Assessment Center.

    -- Richard Danielson can be reached at (727) 445-4194 or danielson@sptimes.com .

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