Police Beat

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Feb. 10, 2:28 p.m.: Officer DeFerrari responded to a commercial burglary on the 2500 block of Woodgate Boulevard, as she reports: "The `36-year-old` witness stated that … she was sitting outside of her residence when she saw a burgundy two door Dodge Stratus vehicle pull up to the east side of the locked laundry room … she recognized this vehicle and two of the three white males that were in the vehicle as the same vehicle and men that had broken into the same laundry room on 02/02/06."

The perps used that infamous "unknown tool" to pry open the door to the laundry room, causing $100 worth of damage to the door. The report continues: "Once inside, they went to the southeast corner of the room and used an unknown tool to spread the front overlap away from the right side of the soda vending machine. They used an unknown tool to displace and drop the coin box to the bottom of the inside of the vending machine." After causing $200 in damage to the machine, "They then reached in and removed an undetermined amount of coins from the coin box."

It appears the perps found the schematics to the vending machine because they used precision in prying the machine open enough to get the coin box to drop. Sure seems to be an awful lot of trouble to go through for a friggin' roll of quarters.

Feb. 11, 10:53 a.m.: There's always someone freakier than yourself. Officer Rodriguez responded to a call about suspicious activities at South Osceola Avenue and Cherokee Road. When he arrived on the scene, the complainant "explained that a Hispanic male driving a black Ford Escort bearing Florida tag `number omitted` had slowed down parallel to her and kept pace with her as she walked around the lake. `Complainant` felt uncomfortable by this and was afraid for her safety."

Our 35-year-old complainant thought the suspect wanted directions, so "she looked inside the vehicle and was able to provide `Officer Rodriguez` with a good description of the male driver." But "the male just continued to stare at her without explaining himself." He kept following her around, even after she walked across the park to get away from him. She arrived at her vehicle and entered it. The perp then parked parallel to the complainant's car, thus blocking her door. She felt threatened and drove away; luckily, the perp did not follow.

She missed quite a show, as Officer Rodriguez reports: "It should be noted that OPD dispatch received two calls in close proximity to each other with the same description. In the first call … the victim stated to OPD dispatch that the male in the above described vehicle had exposed his genitalia to her." Good thing our complainant drove off; she might have been permanently traumatized at the sight of the pervy perp playing tug-o'-war with himself.

Feb. 14, 3:27 a.m.: Officers Rigual and Montfort responded to a "commercial alarm" on the 5600 block of Hoffner Avenue, at which time they requested a K-9 unit and the Orlando Fire Department to check the roof for suspects to no avail. Officer Rigual reports, "Further investigation revealed that suspect(s) entered the business by climbing a pipe that is located at the rear of the business that leads to the roof. Suspect(s) then pried and smashed the concrete roof top, which is located in the center of the business, with unknown tools. Suspect(s) entered the building by pushing the ceiling tiles." Our perp(s) seemed extremely determined (smashing through the concrete roof to get in seems to indicate that), causing $25,000 in damage to the roof. What could they be after? The report continues, "Suspect(s) grabbed an unknown amount of scratch-off lottery tickets and an unknown amount of cigarettes (cartons)." He/she/they/it then kicked the inner locked door — damaging the lock — and continued to the outer door, pried the lock away and then exited the business, causing an additional $11,000 in damages to the doors.

Your correspondent can relate with the theft of the cigarettes — nicotine withdrawals can drive a man mad — but what's up with the lotto tickets? Does the snappahead really think he's going to cash in? Even if he does hit the big one, the state will know the ticket came from the stolen batch. Duh.

Feb. 14, 11:57 p.m.: It appears your backpack is worth more than your identity. Officers Archer and Evangelista responded to an armed robbery on the 4600 block of Edgemoor Street. Our 27-year-old victim was returning home from the bus stop when two black males — in Valentine's Day spirit, wearing red winter coats — approached him. One of the suspects pulled out a chrome pistol and demanded his belongings. Officer Archer reports: "`Victim` was hit in the face with the pistol, thrown to the ground, and kicked in the face." Not the sweetest of V-Day greetings.

The perps robbed our victim of his cell phone ($70), wallet ($40), backpack ($10), Social Security Card ($1), birth certificate ($1), diploma card ($1), and miscellaneous paperwork ($1). Unfortunately for our victim, what police value at a mere $3 is enough for the perps to steal his identity. However, the police felt terrible and gave our victim a Valentine's gift: a victim's rights booklet.

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