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Police reports give us reasons to be careful

By Times Staff Writer
Published December 16, 2007


St. Petersburg

I read crime reports every day. But I suspect most people seldom think about crime in a way that adds a measure of caution to their lives. So here's what I've been reading this week.

- We arrested a 14-year-old in an auto theft after finding his fingerprints inside a vehicle.

First he denied the crime. But when we told him we found his prints on sunglasses in the vehicle, he admitted the theft.

He said he punched the door lock with a screwdriver, used it to defeat the ignition and drove until he ran out of gas.

- A man in England bought two homes in St. Petersburg and hired a local property management company to collect rental fees. The woman who runs the company deposited the rental fees from the first month, but never again.

Several months later, after pocketing $17,200, she closed her business. We arrested her last week on grand theft charges.

- A man met a woman at a bar. A few weeks later, he asked her to house-sit for him while he traveled. Bad idea. She found one of his credit cards and used it forshopping and to satisfy her taste for fine dining, all to the tune of $5,070.43.

- A 23-year-old man burglarized an apartment on Gandy Boulevard N and stole a laptop computer. A day later, he committed another burglary in the same complex, but ran when the resident surprised him.

The man admitted both crimes. But he pleaded for mercy, telling them he had already returned the laptop in the first case and had written a letter to the Police Department, asking us to forgive him.

We did, of course. Then we sent him to jail.

William Proffitt, St. Petersburg police spokesman

[Last modified December 15, 2007, 21:58:14]

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