The Blotter

Bizarre crimes from Tampa police files

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THE BLUFF: Two men pulled into the BP station at Nebraska and Sligh avenues so the passenger could buy a drink. The thirsty man started to don two gold necklaces as he approached the store when one of three men lingering out front approached him and said, "Let me have those necklaces." The victim refused and the man snatched the chains from his hand while another of the suspects "put his hand in his shirt behind him and told [the victim] to back off or he would shoot him (implying that he had a gun)." The driver of the car jumped out to back up his friend, but was quickly knocked to the ground, with the same suspect again indicating he had a gun behind his back and stating he would "blow both their heads off." An officer stopped at a nearby traffic light took notice and approached what he thought was a fight. After tasering one of the suspects and taking him into custody, the suspect who kept claiming to have a gun charged the officer, yelling: "You ain't the only person out here with bullets!" Actually, the cop was the only one with bullets, but backup units arrived and took the bad bluffer into custody before the cop could use any of them.

INCRIMINATING EVIDENCE: Someone attempted to break into the West Cost Pharmacy on N. Florida Avenue in Tampa "by cutting the alarm wires and removing the electrical meter." Something spooked the would-be robber, and he fled prior to gaining entry to the pharmacy. The investigating officers did find a pretty good clue to the man's identity, however. Hanging on a fencepost near the electrical meter was a hacksaw with the name "Robert Alexander" etched into the metal. "Robert Alexander" was identified as a suspect in an attempted robbery of the same pharmacy a month earlier and was still at large at the time of the second robbery.

JUST PLAIN WEIRD: This incident gives me the willies. A woman was rollerblading on Bayshore Boulevard when she saw a man approaching from the opposite direction riding a mountain bike and fumbling with "some type of object." Per the report: "As she passed him, he intentionally sprayed her with an unknown substance causing her legs to burn and itch. She showered and called police." Hopefully in that order.

From the files of the T.P.D.

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