JULY 19, 2 A.M.: A 74-year-old man was ascending his apartment's staircase in the 5000 block of Westwinds Drive. He'd just pulled a late-night shift at work and was probably eager for some shut-eye. But that would have to wait.
Three young men emerged from the muggy night and attacked the man from behind, securing his skull in a mighty headlock. Meanwhile, two of the perps picked the man's pockets, emptying them of valuables, including a wallet containing $20, a $50 cell phone and one pass to Universal Studios.
The victim, however, was not one to acquiesce quietly to a trio of hoodlums. According to police reports, the man "clawed at the suspect who had him in a headlock," whereupon the burglar hurled him to the floor.
The trio split the scene in an unknown direction, speeding away in two different vehicles with their headlights off. Surprisingly, the 74-year-old victim mustered the strength to hop into his own car and follow his attackers, but the chase was fruitless.
The man later called to cancel his debit card, only to find it'd already been used at a nearby McDonald's, perhaps to purchase a Big Mac and a few Fruit 'n Yogurt Parfaits. The card was also used to make a purchase at a Hess Express gas station.
JULY 16, 3 A.M.: Another suspect or suspects were on the make for quick cash and good times a few nights prior. Much to the burglar's(s') liking, however, the booty would be more bountiful.
A young mother and her children were snuggling under their blankets in bed at home in the 4000 block of Brinell Avenue. As the family slumbered, the suspect or suspects pried open a window and sliced through a screen, causing $15 worth of damage. Inside the residence, the burglar(s) lurked and looted, stealing approximately 150 to 200 DVD movies of a variety of genres, valued at $1,500. Hundreds of hours worth of small-screen entertainment wasn't enough to satisfy these intruders, however; they sneaked into another bedroom and palmed a GameCube and six fun-packed games. On their way out they snatched a purse containing $600 in cash from the living room, bringing their haul to an estimated $2,696.
JULY 10, midnight.: As is the case in all endeavors, some burglars are less successful than others.
In this instance, a suspect or suspects approached a well-known burger joint in the 2200 block of South Semoran Boulevard that was locked and unoccupied. The burglar(s) chose as an entry point a drive-through window that'd seen untold orders of biggie-sized fries pass through. After prying the windows open and causing $250 worth of damage, the suspect or suspects crawled through the narrow portal, tumbling into beef-patty paradise. Rather than heading for the registers, however, the perp or perps tried gaining access to the business office. Lacking a key to the office, the suspect(s) employed a hammer to whack a hole the size of one very large hamburger through the wooden door. That will cost another $250 to repair. Nonetheless, the burglar or burglars failed to enter the office and exited via the drive-thru window again, back into the black night and onto the next fast-food stop, perhaps.
JULY 9, 12:25 P.M.: One day prior, a particularly antsy burglar or burglars simply couldn't wait until nightfall to pillage goods intended for leisure.
Earlier that morning, a pest-control person had been summoned to a household in the 1000 block of Bryn Mawr Street to suppress spiders and other multi-legged lurkers in the garage area. The exterminator may have laid waste to ants, roaches, spiders and other unwanted guests, but by leaving the garage door open after finishing he unwittingly invited some other pests into the structure. Fumigation had no effect on the suspect(s) who entered the storage space sometime before 1 p.m., where a sweet set of Titleist golf clubs tucked in a matching bag was removed from the northwest wall. The clubs were valued at $1,500. And the raid didn't stop there, either, as the burglar or burglars grabbed a brilliant green Bianchi bicycle before, perhaps, pedaling off into the hellish midday heat. The road bike was valued at $500. The suspect(s) had not tried gaining entry to the main house, where the unsuspecting family lounged.
JULY 8, 1:56 P.M.: Our final fun-seeking suspect didn't filch films or sporting goods, but attempted a much more dire deed.
The suspect huddled over a pay phone in the 2600 block of South Semoran Boulevard and allegedly dialed a 911 phone call. According to police reports, the caller had a male voice and stated, "I placed a bomb at Orlando International Airport at the American Counter," likely sending chills down the operator's spine. An officer was sent to the scene, pronto, but the mystery caller had fled. Airport personnel was contacted and notified of the threat, but an area check proved there was no bomb not a big surprise.
Just another desperate ne'er-do-well's attempt to satisfy entertainment needs on a humdrum O-Town afternoon.
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