POLICE BEAT 


;JULY 23, 9:59 A.M.: Some O-town prowling suspect(s) chose to visit an apartment complex in the 5740 block of Gatlin Avenue. The "storage unit full o' crap" that burglars love so well would fall victim once again.

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;The perpetrator(s) gained entry to the locked but unalarmed unit by prying open the bottom of a window, causing the glass to shatter. Inside, the suspect(s) kicked open a door and snatched "24 lights, six boxes of switches, five boxes of decorative outlets, 15 boxes of decorative plate and plug covers, two boxes of smoke alarms, four boxes of phone jacks, four boxes of cable jacks, two boxes of 12-2 wire, five boxes of GFI plugs," police reports state.

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;Although replacing the mishmash of home essentials will cost about $1,730, the deep emotional wounds the complex's maintenance man will suffer might be irreparable.

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;JULY 28, 3:30 A.M.: A 29-year-old man left downtown early this morning – perhaps after a heavy night of boozin' – and took a wrong turn that would result in a beatdown.

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;After heading west down Livingston Street, our confused cruiser ended up somewhere near the 400 block of North Magnolia Avenue. And then, the unexpected happened. Surrounded by seeping moonlight and starry skies, the man swears that approximately "15 to 20" males appeared from the ether and began jumping on top of his gray Toyota pickup truck like a bunch of wild monkeys. The flying men didn't quit their primate-like antics until they had successfully removed his wallet, which contained his identification and credit cards. Finally, he put the pedal to the metal and escaped, then called the coppers from a safe spot.

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;Find this tale a bit incredible? Maybe you're on to something. While interviewing the victim, the officer states our man "was intoxicated and was not able to write a statement."

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;Imagine that.

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;JULY 28, 7:46 A.M.: A construction site was burglarized tonight by a suspect or suspects, this time in the 2270 block of L.B. McLeod Road.

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;One would think a "gated and locked construction site" might prove difficult to break into, but our suspect(s) found it quite simple; the perp(s) entered by "removing a fence post on the north side of the site … and lowering the fence," according to police reports. Inside, the suspect(s) eyeballed one snazzy track loader and a Komatsu excavator. Much like a pro, the machine-operating perp(s) used the heavy gear to dig up oodles of this summer's trendiest treat: copper wiring! In fact, $3,000 worth of the copper goodies vanished.

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;Because no burglar is perfect, the vandalism doesn't end here. Copper in hand, the suspect(s) called it a night but "backed the track loader into the excavator" on their way out, police reports state. There goes another $6,000 worth of damage.

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;JULY 28, 3:48 P.M.: Our slew of Saturday burglaries isn't over quite yet. A 29-year-old man left his house in the 500 block of South Hampton Avenue and spotted some fishy behavior. He saw two men slowly walking toward his 51-year-old neighbor's property.

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;The pair of perps cut to the chase, quickly swiping a lawn mower and a weed eater. No TVs, furniture or fancy jewelry inside would be taken; the gardening gadgets proved sufficient for these green thumbs. They then hauled ass from the homestead, wheeling their shiny new mower down the road toward a blue Ford Ranger parked at the intersection of Tangerine Street and Hampton Avenue. It was there that our observer witnessed the master jackpot: the truck's bed was packed sky-high with even more lawn mowers. The latest additions were tossed into the bed and our suspect(s) drove off toward the next pit stop, where, no doubt, more shovels, pruners and shears awaited.

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;Our victim soon confirmed her prized Craftsman mower and weed eater were both missing from the garage, and told the police that she "was home at the time of the incident and … her garage door was open at the time." The agricultural accessories will cost approximately $350 to replace.

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;Here's a Police Beat tip for you homeowners out there: If you'd like to protect your yard tools from such lawn-mower looters, keep the damn garage doors closed.

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;JULY 30, 10:45 A.M.: Sometimes a weed eater just won't cut it. Over the weekend, two suspects dressed entirely in black set out to swipe electronic treats in the 1500 block of Tradeport Drive. But for these techies, a single CPU or two would not suffice, either. They carefully selected a cell-phone store as their target, then broke into the shop by slicing into a bay door and slipping inside, according to police reports. All phone chargers, faceplates and headsets were left untouched – these filchers only wanted phones. To be precise, 8,372 cell phones, police reports state.

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;Keep those peepers peeled for hooligans selling phones in bulk on Colonial Drive.

; feedback@orlandoweekly.com

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