PARCHED PERPS 


OCT. 17, 9:30 P.M.: For the owner of a convenience store in the 800 block of Formosa Avenue, it was time to call it a day. Alas, the sunless streets of O-Town bustled with booze-lusting burglars.

One parched perp could stand this thirst no longer, opting to search inside the locked, secured shop for bottled spirits. Using "numerous wooden tools," police reports state, our burglar defeated the store's lock and spilled inside the silent store, causing $1,000 in damage in the process. Sure, the suspect could've swiped bagfuls of cookies, potato chips and other late-night snacks – not to mention cash from the register, if there was any – but the only green worth heisting in this burglar's eyes was 10 cases of Heineken valued at $150.

OCT. 17, 7:50 A.M.: Boodle never fails to please.

A vacation-package seller left his car locked for an hour in the tourist-infested 6500 block of International Drive. A lurking suspect or suspects seized the moment, using an unidentified tool to pry the car's window open at the molding. When worthy swag wasn't spotted inside, the perp or perps popped open the trunk. Jackpot.

One Kenneth Cole canvas bag was extracted. Its contents: $2,000 cash, $5,000 in Universal and Disney tickets and $1,000 in filled-out traveler's checks. Goodies in hand, the suspect or suspects then fled the scene, kindly leaving the trunk ajar.

Authorities may want to keep a close watch on local theme parks; at least one lucky bastard is going to be riding The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh way too many times.

OCT. 14, 6:30 P.M.: An 80-year-old man left his home in the 3200 block of Anderson Place for a night of dancing. Yes, you read that correctly. As soon as the octogenarian was gone, a waiting suspect got straight to work, gaining entry to the fleet-footed senior's residence via a shattered second-story window. A ladder already leaning against the house was used to climb up to the window and crawl inside, which, in this author's opinion, is eerily reminiscent of one of Ferguson's shenanigans in Nickelodeon's Clarissa Explains It All (a possible lead?). Inside, closets, drawers and jewelry boxes were ransacked, and an assortment of credit cards were left scattered across the floor, but none taken. In fact, the only items swiped were an unloaded .38-caliber revolver – the gun's ammo was left behind – and a light-blue pillowcase.

Rather than crawling back out the window and down the ladder, the burglar did what normal guests do: used the front door. Perhaps this wasn't Ferguson's foul play after all?

OCT. 14, 7:56 A.M.: Just 20 minutes after an employee at a well-known bridal chain in the 4600 block of Millenia Plaza Way arrived at work, trouble began outdoors. Although she'd deactivated the security alarm upon arriving, she clearly heard the strange noise of someone tugging and prying at the back door. Frightened, she mustered the courage to open the door, whereupon she was confronted by a 30-year-old man. She yelled and asked the vandalizing fool what he was doing. He did NOT say the following: "Oh, I'm just here to pilfer a slew of this season's most to-die-for sequined satin gowns and pearl-encrusted veils. Don't mind me!" Instead he hollered back, "Bitch!," police reports state, then hopped into an older-model conversion van and headed north toward Home Depot.

It should also be noted that the man's van was rather conspicuously painted with tan pinstripes. It shouldn't be hard to nail this ne'er-do-well.

OCT. 12, 10:26 P.M.: Remember the beer burglary? It was actually the second time in a week burglars hit the same store in the 800 block of Formosa Avenue was. The first time, however, the loot was cigarettes, which makes perfect sense.

After entering the shop, the suspect followed a similar routine to the brew burglar's – cash was bypassed, snacks were unscathed; even beer was unbothered this time. Instead, this 44-year-old burglar needed a cancer stick, and he needed one now. He filled several bags with the magical nicotine wands and then tried exiting via a teeny hole in the wall. Unfortunately for the smoking man, police were already waiting outside. They let him contort through the cranny and watched as he placed his prized cig sacks on the ground, then arrested him.

There are two lessons to be learned here, kids. No. 1: If you're broke and need a smoke, bum one from a bud. No. 2: If you are the owner of this particular convenience store, get that hole in the wall fixed before someone comes after the frozen pizzas.

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