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Crime Journal

By Times Staff Writer
Published March 11, 2008


St. Petersburg

Suspect sought in kidnapping of 8-year-old girl

Police are looking for a man they say kidnapped an 8-year-old girl on Feb. 29 and took her to a vacant property near 16th Avenue S. When the man knelt down and began to unzip his pants, the girl started screaming and took off running, police said. The department's Crimes Against Children unit is investigating. Police say they waited for the suspect's composite sketch to be completed before releasing information about the incident. The man is described as about 5 feet 9 inches tall with bushy eyebrows and a thin-line beard. He was last seen wearing a blue shirt and tan pants.

Tampa

Deputies: Felon hit vending machines

Just out of prison, Neil A. Huning couldn't stay away from the vending machines, deputies say. But he wasn't after candy bars. He was after cash, according to the Hillsborough Sheriff's Office. Released Feb. 1 after serving time in connection with a string of vending machine robberies in 2006, Huning, 40, was back at it Feb. 26, a Hillsborough sheriff's spokeswoman said. Vending machines at Swan Lake Apartments and Heron Cove Apartments on N Lakeview Drive were both burglarized three times within a week, deputies say. Video captured images of Huning breaking into a machine at Swan Lake on Feb. 26 at 6 a.m., deputies say. Huning, whose last known address was 2811 S Miller Road in Valrico, has a tattoo of a woman on his inside right bicep and forearm. He is 5-foot-11, 220 pounds, according to the Department of Corrections. He has green eyes and brown hair. Anyone with any information about Huning is asked to call the Sheriff's Office at (813) 247-8200 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-873-8744.

Clearwater

Gas mask filter provokes anxiety

Three apartment buildings were evacuated Monday morning after police were called about a suspicious item. The object, which turned out to be a filter from an old-fashioned gas mask, was found in the parking lot of the Fountain Square apartments at 1799 N Highland Ave. By 11 a.m., the residents were allowed to return to their apartments.