SEPT. 6, 10:49 A.M.: Why are criminals in Orlando so attracted to schools?

At some point the night before, a suspect or suspects raided the vacant halls of Dr. Phillips High School, 6500 Turkey Lake Road, heading straight for the “100 and 200 area hallways,” police reports state.

What desirables awaited there? Not notebook-loaded lockers, art supplies or tattered copies of The Great Gatsby. Vending machines housed the true valuables today.

Several machines were pried open with an unknown object. Not only were “dollar indicators” extracted from the contraptions, but “an undetermined amount of cash and coins” also was taken, police reports add. Although the damages are estimated at approximately $3,000, apparently all Reese’s peanut butter cups and Diet Pepsis were left in place, thank God.

SEPT. 8, 5:01 A.M.: As the sun slept, perps employed yet another mystery tool to get dirty deeds done, this time at a popular electronics/music store in the 4600 block of East Colonial Drive.

Once said secret tool was successfully used to pry the rear door open – at 4:56 a.m. to be exact – the suspect(s) “ran into the store,” police reports state. The mad dash was followed by the swiping of various technological goods, like ginormous LCD TVs, Razor cell phones and Mac computers. Although the total estimated loss could not be tallied at the time, it’s safe to say the store manager was pissed.

Cops spotted two vehicles fleeing from the parking lot immediately afterward: a dark-colored Chevrolet Lumina and a silver-hued four door BMW, likely choc-full of electronics. The BMW, possibly, bore a University of Florida Gators tag, police reports add.

Note to burglars: When out plying your trade, it’s probably best not to have a vanity tag on your car.

SEPT. 9, 10:49 P.M.: On this night a 44-year-old man was chillin’ on the street in the 5100 block of Luna Negra Drive, chatting on his cell. Little did he know Luna Negra – translation: black moon – Drive would be tainted by the arrival of three wee hooligans this dark evening.

The boys, approximately 16 years old, circled our victim like rabid raccoons hungry for scraps. Then they said, “Give me the fucking phone!” police reports state. Mama would be proud. No one was around to shove a bar of Irish Spring soap into their potty mouths, but the victim did refuse to hand over his telephone. Big mistake.

In a development eerily similar to a case in last week’s Beat, the gang of lads proceeded to “attack him with wooden sticks,” police reports add. They whacked him on the noggin, back and thumb, but only managed to lacerate the thumb. The man refused medical attention for his damaged digit.

Be on the lookout for malicious kids with sticks.

SEPT. 10, 11:55 A.M.: With the sunny days of summer ending and the autumn season nearing, area leaves will just be beggin’ for a good raking. You know what that means? Green-thumbed burglars on the prowl.

Garden-implement craving hoodlums barged into a business that focuses on pain management in the 700 block of West Colonial Drive. The suspect(s) gained entry to a storage area “by using bodily force,” police reports state. “The wooden door was locked with a padlock and the hasp appears to have been forced off” where our hefty leaner(s) applied poundage, police reports add. In the end, one Personal Pace lawnmower, valued at $400, and two wheelbarrows valued at $50 a pop were toted away. And the door will cost 10 bucks to repair.

SEPT. 12, 9:34 A.M.: No eager green thumbs pining to prune bushes tonight. While the green thieves took a little break, everyday scummy suspect(s) took to the streets once again.

The evidence of thievery was found not far from where our wheelbarrow-bagging burglar or burglars played just days before – the 1300 block of West Colonial Drive. But this time the suspect or suspects did not target a drive-thru restaurant, elementary school portable or an electronics shop. They victimized an organization devoted toward the preservation of healthy, happy lungs. You just never know with Orlando’s burglars.

Happily, no pamphlets preaching the horrors of smoking were taken. So what was lifted? Two coolers from the business’ storage shed, police reports state. Whether those coolers housed something as trivial as a mound of half-melted ice cubes or a set of healthy, pink lungs ready for transplant, rather, is a mystery.

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