POLICE BEAT 


Oct. 16

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(2008-447872) 10:29 a.m.: Two bits of housekeeping: First, after catching a raft of shit concerning my last column's Gilbert and Sullivan reference, I would like to state the following: I know almost nothing about musical theater. What I do know about musical theater is derived from high-school productions that either my sister was in or I had to watch. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

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Second, a little soap-box action: By the time you read this there will have been not only a presidential election, but a bunch of local ones as well – including for Orange County sheriff, where either John Tegg or Jerry Demings will have a chance to undo the damage that Kevin Beary did to the office's reputation during his 16 years. Good luck to whomever won. (And to President-Elect Barack Obama, God willing.)

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I can tell you this: Writing as I have for the past year about crime in this city, from the petty to the grotesque, makes you cognizant of the degree to which crime correlates with problems in urban environments. Our cities – our inner cities – need attention too, but we generally ignore the people who live there because we assume they're lazy, violent, drug-addled or whatever. The truth is, poverty seeps into and strengthens the cycle of violence and addiction. When politicians promise to lower crime rates, there's more to the equation than building more prisons or jacking up mandatory minimums. There's an input side to it as well, and it's one we'd best not ignore. A new sheriff can do a lot of things; single-handedly ridding us of crime isn't one of them.

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Anyway. A law office on North Orange Avenue should remember to lock its doors when it closes. Otherwise a computer might go missing.

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(2008-447956) 11:40 a.m.: A 12-year-old tried to break into a neighbor's house. A 17-year-old yelled at him. He ran away.

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Oct. 17

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(2008-448904) 12:25 a.m.: A guy smashed an SUV window and snagged a GPS system. The cops were watching. Jail.

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(2008-448970) 1:19 a.m.: Take it away, Officer Stanley: "On the above date and time several unknown suspects entered the above listed residence and pepper-sprayed the five victims inside. All victims refused to provide statements and their names."

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Oct. 20

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(2008-453917) 8:10 a.m.: Someone stole copper wiring from the roof of a city building. You'll pay to replace it. Isn't that swell?

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(2008-454821) 10:01 p.m.: A guy broke into an electrical company's office, smashed in the windows of two company vans and removed some copper wiring … of course. Unfortunately for him, police dogs were able to track him down. Jail.

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(2008-454875) 10:55 p.m.: Armed robbery. So yeah, boycott. Except I will, in passing, mention this last bit from Officer Brillant: "The suspects then took the victim's cell phone, looked through it and gave it back to him before fleeing in an unknown direction."

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(2008-454895) 11:13 p.m.: Let's take a brief respite from our armed-robbery boycott to relay a tale our friends at the NRA are going to love. At a house on Dorchester Street, a "Hispanic male, approximately 21-25 years old, wearing a light colored shirt [and] dark pants, knocked on [the resident's] door and advised [the resident] that some unknown persons were messing with his trucks parked in his driveway," Officer Goree reports.

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It was, alas, a trap. Goree continues, "[The resident], who was armed, walked outside where he met another suspect wearing a mask [who] pointed two guns at him" – clearly, one wouldn't suffice – "and attempted to rob him. Victim pointed his gun at suspect and both suspects fled the scene without taking ; any property."

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Charlton Heston would be so proud.

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Oct. 21

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(2008-455061) 2:10 a.m.: The Police Beat Asshat o' the Week is this apparently faux bum who preys on the generosity of others. He was at the corner of Orange and Church when he asked a passerby for a dollar. The passerby agreed, but when he pulled out his money to hand the guy a buck, the bum reached out and snagged his entire wad of cash, then ; split. Ingrate.

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; jbillman@orlandoweekly.com

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