POLICE BEAT 


MARCH 14, 1:03 P.M.: We all know and love the tantalizing, buttery aroma of baking bread that wafts from the Merita bakery near I-4. On this day, the smell drove a suspect or suspects unknown to do bad things.

A perp or perps arrived at the bakery in the 4300 block of North Pine Hills Road and somehow got inside the building; there were no signs of forced entry. Police reports do not mention whether or not the suspect(s) succumbed to the lure of baked goods once inside, but they do note that the perp(s) "removed the keys to all vehicles parked in the lot." Furthermore, reports state that the bad guy(s) hopped onboard one pricey white bread truck — a 2004 International tractor trailer — valued at approximately $100,000. The keys to other vehicles were found dispersed throughout the parking lot, meaning our suspect(s) must have lost interest in the other rides once they spied this monster.

The white bread truck was later found abandoned in a nearby lot with some damage, including "broken steps … red transfer paint on the passenger side … the passenger side lower mirror was shattered, a hole on the outside upper part of the cab, and the rear cargo door will not shut," police reports state. That's about $10,000 worth of trashing. Two pricing guns, valued at $150, were also reported missing.

MARCH 15, 12:52 P.M.: Is nothing sacred?

A pastor locked the doors to his church in the 20 block of North Rosalind Avenue this afternoon, but upon returning the following morning discovered the door deadbolt had been forced backwards. After a thorough scan of all the church's contents, nothing appeared to be missing. The pastor left again late that afternoon and secured the door with a chain around the handles this time. Enough to keep an irreverent trespasser out?

Not a chance. The pastor returned the next day only to find the chain on the ground and the door open. He braced himself, perhaps, for the damage one might expect within: pews overturned and ripped Bible pages all over the floor. Instead he discovered a Compaq Presario laptop computer and case were gone, along with a translation program, a set of headphones and $750 in cash. Someone's going to hell.

MARCH 18, 2:45 A.M.: A 17-year-old girl slept soundly in her bedroom in the 3100 block of Bridgeford Drive when she was awakened, police reports state, "by ‘slams' on her bedroom window."

She peeked outside, half asleep, to discover what caused the noise, and realized the porch door was wide open and completely slimed by egg yolks. Our teen woke her mother up shortly after to inspect the egg damage herself. The two realized nothing inside the house had been stolen, although it's estimated that cleaning the yolky disaster will cost approximately $100.

MARCH 19, 9:34 A.M.: Here's a burglar with some really particular needs.

An unknown suspect pulled up to a flight-training school in the 300 block of North Crystal Lake Drive in a gold Chevy SUV. The stranger exited the SUV, sporting a ski mask and dressed in black from head to toe, and proceeded to break into a Cessna airplane. The burglar wasn't there for a joyride; instead, he or she used a tool of some sort to extract a pair of communication radios, a transponder, an audio panel, a GPS receiver and an older-model navigational radio from the center console.

Moving on to Cessna No. 2, the gadget grabber pocketed more radios, another transponder, an audio panel and an auto pilot device, again from the center console. Total value of the stolen electronics is estimated at approximately $60,000.

"According to the complainant, the only vehicle that had authority to park where the SUV was is their night cleaning crew that washes down the airplanes," police reports state.

MARCH 21, 4:15 A.M.: A 51-year-old man was riding his bicycle to work in the 1400 block of Mercy Drive this morning when two punk kids appeared. The duo, approximately 17 or 18 years of age, did not wave hello or tip their caps to the cycling passer-by. Instead, they knocked the man off the bike, stuck a gun in his face and removed a wallet from his pants pocket.

They made off with $4.

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