Police Beat

Jan. 28, 3:54 p.m.: Officer Bailey, responding to an "audible alarm" on the 200 block of East Livingston Street, met with the owner of the burglarized establishment. According to his report, he "noticed a 2-foot by 3-foot hole cut out of the wall in the conference room." The report continues, "Upon further investigation, I noticed that an additional hole was cut in the adjoining wall leading to the business' data network."

Damages were estimated at $300, but nothing from inside the building appeared to be missing. However, "`a` series of scratches were found along the top of the conference table, believed to be from some sort of equipment that had been placed on it."

Mysterious indeed. The only other clue police have to work with is the fact that when officers arrived they noticed a blue four-door Neon parked in front of the business. When they finished their investigation, the Neon was gone.

Jan. 29, 2:07 p.m.: How low can Orlando criminals go? OK, for argument's sake let us observe that there are various levels of wrong, ranging from "stealing to feed your family" wrong to "shooting a man just to watch him die" wrong. This case is closer to the latter than the former.

Around midnight, our 36-year-old male victim rode his bike down West Church Street when — according to police reports — he "was stopped by three unknown black males." The next thing he knew, one of the four pounded him in the head with a pistol while another punched him in the face. Sounds like just another crack-induced Huffy-jacking, right? Indeed. But the report continues, "`Victim` stated they took $600, which he had in his wallet to pay for rent, and his bike." Two of the suspects left the scene "in an unknown blue vehicle and the other one fled on `the victim's` bicycle."

The perps not only took the man's bike, they took his rent money, leaving our victim extra-vulnerable because Orlando has few provisions to care for citizens who find themselves with no rent money. Still, this crime seems run-of-the-mill. Ready for the icing? Officer Rodriguez reports, "It should be noted `victim` is a deaf-mute."

Jan. 30, 7:26 p.m.: On the 4600 block of Edgemoor Street, a 35-year-old female attempted to carry out her duties as a pizza delivery driver when she "was approached by four black males." Officer Correa reports, "Victim stated suspect No. 1 grabbed her by the right shoulder and advised her to give him her cell phone and car key, but were unsuccessful. Suspect No. 2 struck the victim in the right side of the face with a closed fist. Suspect No. 3 grabbed the pizza bag at which time all four suspects fled southbound on Edgemoor near Silverton Street. The victim estimates the pizza bag at $150 and approximately $37 worth of pizza was in the bag. She also advised no one had permission to punch her in the face, nor take her pizza." Seems to go without saying, but in police work you have to pay attention to the details.

The police provided the driver with a "victim rights booklet." Perhaps she can rub that on her cheek for a little relief from getting popped in the face.

Feb. 2, 2:31 a.m.: Officers Riguall and Montfort responded to an alarm on the 2400 block of East Robinson Street. Officer Riguall reported: "Our investigation revealed unknown suspect(s) entered the business by kicking in the front wooden door. The suspect(s) then entered the business, took two skateboard decks and exited the business via the same and fled the scene."

Police have no leads, but your correspondent is willing to construct a motive: The perps were probably Gen-X'ers who whacked down a 12-pack and just finished watching Gleaming the Cube. Desperate to relive their wasted youth — and because they couldn't afford transportation — one pal pushed the other into the door feet first, knocking it to the floor ($200 in damages). They stole exact replicas of their old skateboards from high school ($50 each) and tried scooting off in search of a half-pipe. Were they successful? Unknown at this time.

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