By Times staff writer
© St. Petersburg Times, published November 21, 2000
Teen gets seven years for multiple thefts
A Tampa teenager was convicted and sentenced Monday to seven years in prison for breaking into several Hernando County homes and a store.
Paul Piacenti, 18, of 619 Patterson St. broke into four homes Sept. 17 and 18, 1999, with a friend and stole about $7,000 worth of jewelry, personal papers, guns and liquor. The homes were on Arlanie Road, Spirit Woods Trail, Hayman Road and Husek Street. Piacenti also was sentenced in a break-in Nov. 19, 1999, at Super Choice at 478 Broad St., where he and his friend took $121.25 worth of cigarettes, a report said.
Officials also said Piacenti and his friend stole a friend's mother's ATM card and used it to make about $6,000 in withdrawals. In all, Piacenti was found guilty Monday of one count of home invasion robbery, one of count grand theft auto, one count of grand theft of a firearm, three counts of grand theft, two counts of petty theft and one count of organized fraud.
Pharmacy technician accused of fraud
A Walgreens pharmacy technician, whose job was to verify people's prescriptions, landed in jail Friday after authorities said she used her position to falsely obtain drugs for herself. Christine Hall, 38, of 13468 Linden Drive in Spring Hill, faces a count of obtaining a controlled substance by fraud after her boss reported her to the Hernando County Sheriff's Office. According to a report, pharmacist John Steele of the Walgreens drug store at 14320 Spring Hill Drive told investigators that he discovered Hall had been filling out and verifying her own false prescriptions. Hall was taken to the Hernando County Jail. She was released the same day without having to post bail.
Man admits beating his 8-year-old son
A man faces a count of child abuse after he told officials he "lost his cool" and severely beat his 8-year-old son. Gary Hawkins, 32, of 27171 Townsend Blvd. in northeast Hernando County, was arrested Friday, three days after his son came home from school with the news that he had gotten kicked off the bus. The father became angry and started hitting his son with a belt and a wooden paddle and then lifted him off the ground by his ears, a Hernando County sheriff's report said. The boy received severe bruises on his legs, buttocks and ears. Hawkins was taken to the Hernando County Jail. He was released the same day after posting bail.
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