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By Times Staff Writer
Published December 13, 2007
Burglars steal all but store's holiday spirit
Burglars stole food and music equipment from a Puerto Rican restaurant, but that won't stop this weekend's holiday festivities. Workers at Estrella Tropical arrived on Dec. 5 to find the restaurant at 1941 E Brandon Blvd. ransacked. Despite an estimated $20,000 loss, its owners are moving ahead with plans for a traditional Puerto Rican pre-Christmas party, or parranda, on Saturday. Though burglars took some cash, the biggest losses were microphones, amplifiers, beer, meat and frozen food, said Eli Espinosa, who owns the restaurant with his daughter, Elizabeth. Investigators found a trail of food from the restaurant into the woods, but they haven't identified any suspects, sheriff's spokeswoman Debbie Carter said. The parranda, which starts at 6 p.m. Saturday, includes music and traditional food.
Ex-manager jailed in tire store theft
A former manager for a Tire Kingdom is accused of stealing almost $5,000 from the company, according to Pasco sheriff's deputies. Stephen Lagotte, 52, former manager of a Tire Kingdom on Bruce B. Downs Boulevard, denied the store payment for several repairs made between April and July and wrongfully transferred a customer's vehicle into his name, deputies say. Lagotte did not return a call from the Times on Wednesday. The arrest report said a Tire Kingdom customer could not pay almost $2,000 for repairs the customer contended were unauthorized. Lagotte told the customer he could surrender his vehicle's title to the company as payment. Lagotte forged the title and transferred the vehicle into his name, deputies say. He was arrested Tuesday and released Wednesday on $10,000 in bail.
Suspect gives up in marijuana raid
The resident of home at 9107 Spring Hill Drive that police raided Tuesday morning surrendered to police late Tuesday. Orestes Fonseca Amador, 46, faces charges of cultivation of marijuana, grand theft and theft of services, according to an arrest report.
Decomposed body found in woods
The decomposed body of a woman was found Tuesday morning in thick woods at the end of a secluded road in northern Hernando County. Authorities think the woman is African-American, and between 20 and 40 years old. Her left wrist is tattooed with a name, possibly Jeremy or Jimmy. Hernando sheriff's officials said there was evidence of foul play, but they declined to elaborate.
Money missing from adult store
Linda Carr, manager of Dade 301 Adult Toys and Videos, came to work Wednesday morning and found the front door unlocked and an undisclosed amount of money missing, according to Pasco sheriff's deputies. Carr told deputies that several employees have keys to the store, at 15401 U.S. 301. Whoever broke in did not trip the security alarm, according to the arrest report. Deputies did not reveal the amount of money stolen, but the report said it was equivalent to the store's daily operating money.