Crime journal

Published March 21, 2007



Memo to robbers: After stealing a car and burglarizing a house, drive safely. Speed drew attention Tuesday to two Tampa men accused of taking laptops, speakers, DVD players, a digital camera and a bucket of coins from a Tampa home and taking a car from another home. A deputy discovered the property after he tried to stop Savaris D. Merrell, 20, and passenger Jeffrey Zaccanti, 20, in Carrollwood. Merrell kept driving, losing control and hitting another car head-on, sending that driver to a hospital with non-life-threatening injuries, deputies say. The two men were arrested.


Boy killed, 4 hurt in wreck near I-75

A 9-year-old Tennessee boy died Tuesday morning in a car accident after his mother pulled out in front of a dump truck, according to the Florida Highway Patrol. Anthony Landis of Cowan, Tenn., died at the scene of the accident at Big Bend Road near the entrance ramp to northbound Interstate 75, said Trooper Larry Coggins. Neither driver was injured, but four passengers were flown to Tampa General Hospital for treatment, Coggins said.


Man accused of theft, posing as CPA

If the charges are true, it's not the first time Zed Turner posed as a legitimate accountant to steal hundreds of thousands of dollars from a client. In 1997, he was charged with stealing more than $250,000 from an 88-year-old blind woman from Palm Harbor. He pleaded guilty and, in exchange for his plea, received four years of probation and paid $107,000 in restitution. Now Pinellas County sheriff's detectives say Turner has returned to his old ways. This time, they say, Turner, 52, of Oldsmar stole more than $375,000 from a dental office where he handled the payroll. Deputies arrested him on Monday night on a grand theft charge. He was being held in the Pinellas County Jail on Tuesday in lieu of $375,000 bail. His attorney, Robert Eckard, declined to answer questions, saying he hadn't seen the Sheriff's Office investigation.