Police Beat

July 14

(2010-330887) 8:49 a.m. Copper is the new gold — at least among the burglary set. Unknown suspects stole four spools of No. 10 copper wire from the still-under-construction Edgewater High School on Edgewater Drive. For more on the copper-theft phenomenon sweeping the nation, see this week's Council Watch, in which Billy Manes tells you how much you

can rake in by stealing the copper tubing from your neighbor's air-conditioning unit.

(2010-331260) 1:49 p.m. If someone approaches you outside Kmart and tells you they have a winning lottery ticket they can't cash in, they are most definitely lying. We're not sure exactly how it went down because the incident report is vague on the details, but two female suspects approached a 57-year-old woman on South Semoran Boulevard with this story and "the victim eventually had $5,000 taken from her." In January 2009, Police Beat reported a similar scam perpetrated on an elderly woman in a grocery store, who was bilked out of $10,000. As the Police Beat writer noted at the time, "There's a special place in hell for people who scam naïve elderly folks out of their savings." We can only hope.

(2010-331897) 9:09 p.m. A guy with a schoolyard-bully complex found an easy target outside a BJ's Wholesale Club at Millenia Plaza this week. He approached his 59-year-old victim, who was standing behind the store, and demanded that she hand over her lunch box. No weapon was seen, "however it was implied," per the report. The man then fled, with whatever little dignity he had left after stealing a lady's lunchbox, in a champagne-colored SUV.

July 16

(2010-334335) 8:03 a.m. A "transient" man spit through the open window of a patrol car on North John Young Parkway and managed to hock some phlegm into the face and uniform of the officer sitting inside. The man was "charged accordingly," which means he was accused of "battery on law enforcement officer/fire fighter."

July 17

(2010-335954) 3:40 a.m. Laziest crime report ever: "On the listed date, time and location, two unknown suspects entered the occupied dwelling and removed items."

July 18

(2010-337544) 3:26 a.m. There's nothing fun or funny about this one. A 44-year-old woman reported being raped behind a fire station in Parramore, and when police reported to the scene they searched for the suspect — 39-year-old Michael Wilson — who they found shirtless and pissing down an embankment on the side of the road. When he got to the police station, he fell asleep; police woke him up to obtain a penile swab, and afterward he pissed himself on the floor of the interview room. The victim says she struggled against him and called for help but Wilson "told her to stop yelling or he would punch her in the face and make her pay for it." He told her he'd kill her if she went to the police, but she finally broke away and managed to call 911. Wilson has been charged with assault, sexual assault and using threat of force to keep someone against their will.

July 19

(2010-339006) 7:29 a.m. Apparently, nobody checks on school buildings much after classes let out for summer. Sometime between July 15 and 19, unknown suspects broke a window at the Alternative Education School on Gulfstream Road and "expelled two fire extinguishers through the entire building and removed `two` laptop computers." Cost of two laptops: $3,400. Damages to the building and electronics: $10,000. Getting back at the principal who held you back last year: Priceless.

(2010-340189) 10:46 p.m. Preying upon the vulnerable is all the rage this week. A 32-year-old man was in his wheelchair on the sidewalk in the 6000 block of Curry Ford Road when two men approached and asked him for a dollar. He refused, so the suspects punched him in the head and stole $4 from him before fleeing the area.

July 20

(2010-341913) 10:36 p.m. During a routine patrol around 639 W. Central Ave., an officer "observed a male riding a bicycle and also pulling a second bicycle" down the street. When questioned, the quick-thinking suspect told the officer that he "normally rides around with two bikes in case the other bike gets a flat tire." Right. An "investigation" ensued, the astute officer determined that the bike was stolen and one more criminal mastermind is stopped in his nubby, mountain-bike tire tracks. Curses, foiled again.

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