The Blotter

Bizarre crimes from Tampa police reports

A TALE OF TWO ROBBERIES: Armed robbery isn't just for convenience stores and banks anymore. In April, a man entered a Subway sandwich shop on Busch Boulevard and pointed a gun at the clerk. Without saying a word the bandit tapped on the register with his gun, which the clerk took to mean give me the cash. The clerk obliged, emptying the register and then hiding in the back of the store as the robber silently left the scene. The second theft (or attempted theft) occurred at the Express Food Store on Nebraska Avenue. In this case, the suspect walked into the store brandishing a small black revolver. The clerk at Express wasn't having it, however, as he "pushed the gun away and stated he 'had no money.'" The ballsy move paid off, as the robber fled the store without taking anything. Per the report: "The victim did not immediately report the crime because he thought it was not a crime because no property was stolen."

BOMB THREAT OF THE WEEK: I routinely receive reports of bomb threats at local schools, and I always picture the culprit to be some middle-schooler who wasn't clever enough to study for Mrs. Rodgers' math test, but had the wherewithal to call in a bomb threat from a number the cops weren't able to trace. This week, I finally got a report where the caller gets caught. The target: Sligh Middle School. The threat: Four bombs in the school, "10 minutes to get everyone out." The idiots who called in the threat: Two guys who just wanted to "miss their third period class." The amazingly stupid chain of events: Several students overhear the criminals hatching their master plan. The pair then borrows another student's cell phone to make the call. In their boldest act of idiocy, the boys make the call in front of several students. On the plus side, the boys did manage to get out of third period class: They were arrested.

I'D HAVE TO MOVE: Police were called to a home on Jetton Avenue regarding an unexplained death. On the scene, police first encountered a witness who told them he had found a dead man "in the bed of a neighbor whose apartment [he was] 'house sitting.'" The report doesn't say if the man expressed regret at doing such a shitty job of house-sitting.

From the files of the T.P.D.