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Police Beat: Incidents reported by the Orlando Police Department 

A stolen cement mixer, man is ambushed on his way to meet a friend, police seek help searching for serial arsonist

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Sometime between 4 p.m. Aug. 14 and 7 a.m. Aug. 15, somebody managed to steal a concrete mixer from an “unsecured construction site” at 3711 Dixie Belle Drive.

We’re not sure why police put quotation marks around the word “friend” in the report pertaining to this crime, but on Aug. 15 at 12:55 a.m., a 55-year-old man was told by a female “friend” to meet her at a house at the intersection of Primrose Drive and East Marks Street. When the man arrived, two unknown men came out from behind a bush and demanded everything in his pockets. He complied, and was relieved of his wallet, phone and car keys. No word on whether his “friend” was the one who called the police for him.

On Aug. 15 at 6:13 p.m., an “unknown suspect” entered the room of a 67-year-old man staying at the Ambassador Hotel on West Colonial Drive. The suspect somehow helped the victim “locate some missing credit cards in the room.” As a reward for his help, the victim gave the suspect some money and a hug. The suspect then reached into the victim’s pocket, took all of his money and ran out of the room.

Finally, Orlando police are continuing to work with the Orlando Fire Department and the city’s newly established arson task force to get to the bottom of a spate of suspected arsons that burned more than a dozen vacant houses in Orlando’s Colonialtown and Thornton Park neighborhoods this summer. Anyone with information about the mysterious fires is asked to call 1-800-423-TIPS.

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