The Blotter

Bizarre crimes from Tampa police files

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WET & WILY: On July 19, a security guard at Adventure Island reported seeing a suspicious person hopping the water park's wall. The guard informed the off-duty officer working at the park of the incident, and the officer went looking for the suspect, finally locating him in the parking lot. This was not the first time the suspect had helped himself to discount admission, and it turned out he was interested in more than riding the Tampa Typhoon. On July 18, the suspect had swiped a blue gym bag belonging to a guest and hidden it within the park. On the day of his arrest, the clever thief was returning to retrieve the stolen bag and its contents: two cell phones and assorted credit cards. Once apprehended, the suspect decided to cooperate fully with police and led them to an apartment where "an assortment of additional stolen property was confiscated by investigators." He also reported to the officer that he was responsible for two vehicle break-ins (one of which has been verified). In fact, the scope of the suspect's crimes is staggering. Per the report: "The defendant admits to approximately (680) assorted incidents of theft and theft related offenses at the Adventure Island theme park, (100) of which occurring this year."

TAKE A LOAD OFF FANNY: The victim in this case was "in the area" of Florida and Waters avenues when he was approached by several men. Per the report: "One of the men struck him on the head with a stick and attempted to take his 'fanny pack' which contained his wallet and other personal belongings." Fashionistas may complain that the fanny pack is horribly outré, but in this case the wearable man-bag kept the victim's belongings safe, and the suspects fled without the man's property. The victim was taken to the hospital with "minor injuries."

PICTURE THIS: If you've spent any time partying in Ybor City, a person with a camera has probably accosted you offering to immortalize your drunken stumble down Seventh Avenue in a souvenir photo. One such photographer working the strip found some willing participants who paid with a crisp $50 bill. After the group of revelers had moved on, the photog realized that he had been passed a counterfeit bill. The man tracked down the suspects and demanded his picture back. Once in possession of the picture, the photog alerted officers as to what happened, and the suspects were arrested. The suspects were found to be in possession of just the one counterfeit bill, so only minor charges have been filed.

From the files of the T.P.D.

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