St. Petersburg Times
Special report
Video report
  • For their own good
    Fifty years ago, they were screwed-up kids sent to the Florida School for Boys to be straightened out. But now they are screwed-up men, scarred by the whippings they endured. Read the story and see a video and portrait gallery.
  • More video reports
Multimedia report
Print Email this storyEmail story Comment Email editor
Fill out this form to email this article to a friend
Your name Your email
Friend's name Friend's email
Your message
 

Kettle robbery suspect found dead

Police say that the body found in the Hillsborough River is the man believed to have swiped Salvation Army kettles to support his drug habit.

By STAFF WRITER
Published December 6, 2005


Lee J. George

TAMPA - Police Tuesday confirmed that the body found in submerged car Monday afternoon is Lee J. George, who was suspected of robbing several Salvation Army bellringers in Pinellas County.

The cause of death was drowning, according to the Hillsborough Medical Examiner's office.

Detectives in Pinellas said they believe the spree of Salvation Army robberies was fueled by George's drug habit.

George, 41, made his first attempts at swiping the kettles Nov. 28 and his most recent on Saturday.

A green Buick Century which matched the description of the car used in the robberies was found in a creek near the Hillsborough River. A Tampa wastewater worker spotted the vehicle in a creek in the 2100 block of Riverside Drive just north of downtown Tampa at about 1:15 p.m. Monday, said Tampa police spokesman Joe Durkin. Police divers found the body, without identification, fully clothed in the back seat.

Police divers also found a bottle of liquor and two pill bottles near the car, Durkin said. Small amounts of marijuana were inside the bottles.

[Last modified December 6, 2005, 14:47:31]


Share your thoughts on this story

[an error occurred while processing this directive]
Subscribe to the Times
Click here for daily delivery
of the St. Petersburg Times.

Email Newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT