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Report: Crime in county drops

By BILL VARIAN

© St. Petersburg Times, published May 17, 2000


Citrus County residents reported some 1,070 major crimes such as robbery, murder, auto thefts, rapes and burglaries last year, down from the year before -- like crime statistics for the rest of the country.

In 1998, the total number of major crimes reported was 1,207. There has been a decrease in such crimes since a high of 1,559 in 1996. The total for 1997 was 1,403.

In 1999, sheriff's deputies handed out 4,647 traffic citations and more than 10,000 written warnings. And they seized more than 2,000 grams of marijuana.

These and other statistics, as well as a description of programs run by the Citrus County Sheriff's Office, are included in a first-ever annual report now available at various community centers.

The 24-page, full-color publication highlights calendar year 1999 by showcasing the men and women of the agency, the programs and services they provide and their accomplishments.

"I hope citizens will take the time to read this report and find out more about the Citrus County Sheriff's Office," Sheriff Jeff Dawsy said in a news release. "If they haven't already taken the opportunity to attend the agency's nine-week Citizens' Academy, I believe the annual report is the next best way of learning more about who we are and what we do."

A free copy of the 1999 Annual Report is available at the following locations:

Sheriff's Operations Center, 1 S Park Ave., Inverness.

Ridge Area Community Resource Office, Beverly Hills Plaza, 4095 N Lecanto Highway, Beverly Hills.

Lakes Region Community Resource Office, E Orange Drive, Hernando.

Coastal Region Community Resource Office, 8177 W Grover Cleveland Blvd., Homosassa Springs.

Coastal Region Public Library, 8619 W Crystal St., Crystal River.

Central Ridge Public Library, 425 W Roosevelt Blvd., Beverly Hills.

Lakes Region Public Library, 1551 Druid Road, Inverness.

Floral City Library, 8360 E Orange Ave., Floral City.

Homosassa Public Library, 5530 S Mason Crook Road, Homosassa.

Citrus County Chamber of Commerce, 208 W Main St., Inverness; or Crystal River Office, 28 NW U.S. 19.

Homosassa Springs Area Chamber of Commerce, 3495 S Suncoast Blvd., Homosassa Springs.

Citrus County Builders Association, 1196 S Lecanto Highway, Lecanto.

In other crime reports:

A game of Truth or Dare led to the arrest of a 14-year-old Homosassa boy on a charge of lewd behavior with an 11-year-old girl Monday.

The Sheriff's Office said the boy got the girl to take off all of her clothing and run around the house naked during the game played two weeks ago. An arrest report said the boy also rubbed the girl's genitals and forced her to perform oral sex.

The girl told a deputy that the boy had touched her inappropriately on two other occasions.

The Sheriff's Office did not disclose the relationship between the boy and girl, identifying her only as a resident of Homosassa. The boy was taken to the Citrus County Detention Facility and then taken into custody by the Department of Juvenile Justice.

-- Staff writer Mary Ann Koslasky contributed to this report.

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