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Thief nailed at Publix

A homeless woman caught stealing six packages of cuticle clippers from a Sunrise Publix told police she had a good reason for the theft.

Patricia Watson, 46, said she wanted to sell the stolen goods on the street.

Clippers According to police, she walked into the supermarket at 9300 Commercial Blvd. on an afternoon last month. A loss prevention officer spotted Watson stuffing the packages of clippers into her bra.

Then, she walked past the registers and out the front door, without paying, a police report reads. The total loss to the store: $89.94.

Police arrested Watson and charged her with felony petit theft because she had a history of shoplifting.

Posted by Jennifer Mooney Piedra at 05:03 PM on July 31, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Delivery turns dangerous for Pizza Hut driver

Pizzahut It seemed like an ordinary delivery for Pizza Hut driver Sauvert Belizarire.

The 51-year-old delivery man pulled up to a Sunrise home in the 6800 block of Northwest 28th Street to drop off an order of two Pizones.

But as he walked up to the home, two men approached him from behind and began punching. Over and over again.

Belizarire fell to the ground and the two men snatched his wallet - and the Pizones. Then, they stole his car keys from the ignition and ran off, a police report shows.

Police and K-9 dogs searched for the robbers, but had no luck finding them. No fingerprints were left on the delivery bag.

In all, the men got away with $30 cash and dinner, valued at $13.62.

Posted by Jennifer Mooney Piedra at 04:26 PM on July 31, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)

A chilly encounter


For one Fort Lauderdale ice cream truck operator, work will never be the same.

Patricia Turgeon, 37, owner of Pattie's Wagon, was robbed at gunpoint in her ice cream truck at 7 p.m. Sunday, while selling snow cones, Popsicles and ice cream cones in the Towngate community in Pembroke Pines.

A man, wearing a black cap, black shirt and black shorts, walked up to the truck and demanded Turgeon hand over the cash box.

She did. Luckily, no one was injured.

The man took off in a light color older model Honda or Toyota. He's still on the loose.

Anyone with information is asked to call Pembroke Pines police at 954-431-2225 or Crimestoppers, anonymously, at 954-493-8477.

Posted by Jennifer Mooney Piedra at 02:49 PM on July 31, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

New spokesmen to watch (and pester)

Bodies27_found_ol_tmc_2 Two new faces you’ll see on TV and in our police stories: Juan Villalba, 35, and Mario Rachid, 37. They join Carlos Maura, 52, on the job five months, as the newest spokesmen for the county’s largest police department.

Villalba comes to Miami-Dade's public information bureau after three years in the Hammocks district, most recently as a field-training officer. Before that, he held the rank of lieutenant with Virginia Gardens police.

“We’re the department’s face. I felt like I could make a good impact,” Villalba says of his move. A Miami native, Villalba is married with no kids – and he says his wife, an attorney, is ready for the late-night calls to crime scenes.

Rachid comes to PIO after nine years in the criminal intelligence unit of the Homeland Security. Raised in Hialeah, he is married with children and now in his more visible role, he wants to “represent the department in a professional manner.”

They’ll lean on Maura (pictured here at a murder-suicide scene near the Keys) who took a roundabout route to his new role. He spent nearly 25 years with the county's parks and recreation department, starting off mowing lawns. In 2000, he fulfilled a life-long dream of becoming a cop.

He’s worked patrol in Miami Lakes, domestic crimes and now fielding calls from Miami-Dade’s media beast.

“The most challenging part in dealing with the media and getting the story out in the correct way, the way things really occurred,” he said.

Posted by David Ovalle at 02:33 PM on July 23, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Items go MIA at MIA

Luggage Every time I go to the airport, I forget something at home. Cellphone, iPod, deodorant -- something always gets left behind.

But despite my travel-day forgetfulness, I've never managed to leave anything at the airport. Not so for hundreds of other travelers.

Miami International Airport's lost-and-found boxes overflow with luggage, laptops, cellphones, jewelry, toys and sporting goods that people forget at the airport. A few times a year, airport managers auctions off everything that hasn't been claimed for more than 60 days.

The next auction is at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday, July 28, at 5600 NW 36th St., Building 845, third floor. 

Posted by Evan Benn at 04:57 PM on July 22, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

SoFla chase makes national news

Arrest_3Watch TV this morning?

If so, you probably caught highlights from yesterday's wild police chase.

According to police, the reckless ride started after Thomas Richmond Baldwin crashed a stolen Lexus in northwest Miami-Dade. Baldwin, 29, didn't stick around for long. When a Miami-Dade public safety aide responded, Baldwin tried to run her over. Then he took off, marking the beginning of a three-county chase.

Baldwin's first move was to hop on Interstate 95. When he crossed the county line, though, Miami-Dade police pulled off. (They only give chase if the offender commits a violent crime or if they're faced with a life-or-death situation, one spokesman said.) For safety reasons, both the Broward Sheriff's Office and the Florida Highway Patrol declined to take over.

Baldwin might have thought he was home free -- had it not been for a fleet of pesky news choppers. The choppers stayed with Baldwin as whizzed west on Interstate 595 and later, headed north on the turnpike. For most of the ride, Baldwin weaved in and out of traffic, clocking more than 100 miles per hour. It was an odd sight. Not a single police cruiser was following him.

Baldwin hit Boca and made a U-turn. The diligent choppers followed -- and aired the chase on live TV. (It even made CNN.) The news crews stayed overhead when Baldwin exited the turnpike and a swarm of police cars approached. And their cameras were rolling when police arrested Baldwin in Sunrise.

You can watch the entire chase here.

Posted by Kathleen McGrory at 10:28 AM on July 17, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

From the water, a hero emerges

John Carr called the newsroom tonight to check on the condition of a woman he saved from drowning yesterday off Haulover Beach.

Carr had been in the ocean when he noticed a woman nearby floating face-down in the waist-deep water. He pulled her to shore and screamed for the lifeguards to come quick.

The lifeguards continued CPR until an ambulance arrived a few minutes later to whisk the woman to Aventura Medical Center. She suffered from cardiac arrest in the water, but rescuers were able to revive her pulse and save her - thanks to the fast actions of Carr and emergency workers.

The woman is expected to be OK.

"You just made my night," Carr said when I gave him the update. "We were all so worried about her."

Posted by Evan Benn at 10:36 PM on July 16, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Aldon's Last Hope

Aldon_horn I received a neatly-penned letter from Aldon Horn, a 6-4, 300-pound Miami-Dade jail inmate awaiting trial for second-degree murder. He says I am his "last hope" so I've decided to post an excerpt from his letter because this is a better venue than the newspaper:

"On May 22, 2007, we had our first "contact visits." Filled with excitement, I put my girlfriend on the visitor's list and told her what time to come see me. She was very happy for the opportunity to come and see me in person, but our joy and excitement was abruptly ended the morning of the visit.

While being escorted to the visiting area, the correctional officer said 'Damn you got a fat ass.' This type of behavior from an officer is absolutely atrocious, despicable, horrendous ... you name it. Not to mention my girlfriend is now scared to come and see me again due to this blatant and inexcusable sexual harassment."

Aldon doesn't mention the officer's name but does include a copy of the grievance. Good luck, Aldon.

Posted by David Ovalle at 07:00 PM on July 13, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (6) | TrackBack (0)

The rise and decline of a sheriff

Jenne From Crime Scene's own Wanda J. DeMarzo:

It's been two years since federal authorities began investigating Broward's top cop, Sheriff Ken Jenne, about his outside businesses. A grand jury has been trying to determine whether Jenne used his public office for personal financial gain with those business ventures.

The sheriff, who makes about $170,000 a year in his elected position, has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing. He did so again Thursday when Joan Murray, a reporter with Miami Herald news partner WFOR-CBS 4, caught him on his way to a waiting car.

"I believe my record speaks for itself," Jenne said, adding that he plans to finish out his term, which ends next year.

"I have been answering these questions and I believe I've answered everything," Jenne said about the grand jury proceedings. Murray's full report will be posted on the WFOR website later Thursday.

For a detailed analysis of Jenne's tenure, be sure to check MiamiHerald.com Sunday for a story by DeMarzo.   

Posted by Evan Benn at 06:27 PM on July 12, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Peekaboo, they see you

Dump Former high school football standout Kenneth Welcome thought he could still outrun anyone.

But it's been about eight years since Welcome wore an American High jersey. Since then, he's been arrested on charges relating to cocaine, prostitution and grand theft auto.

Florida Highway Patrol troopers say Welcome was in a stolen car they stopped Wednesday near I-95 and 62nd Street in Miami. When troopers were checking out records of the car's occupants, Welcome bolted and ran into Liberty City.

After a 20-minute chase, officers found Welcome hiding in a Dumpster. They charged him with fleeing police and will extradite him to Georgia, where he faces felony drug charges.

Producers from Cops should call FHP for this dashboard-cam footage.

Posted by Evan Benn at 08:05 PM on July 11, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

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