Monroe County Sheriff’s Office
Daily Crime and Information Report

Issued by the Media Relations Office, Public Information Officer Deputy Becky Herrin


August 30, 2002

Body found in bushes off the highway on the stretch

Key Largo – A man cutting grass for the Department of Transportation found a body in the bushes beside the road Thursday afternoon.

The DOT worker was riding on his mower when he spotted the body shortly before 2 p.m. at the 108.4 mile marker. He called the Sheriff’s Office to report it. When deputies arrived, they found the dead man lying near the water on the northbound side of the highway about 20 feet off the roadway.

Detectives responded, along with Medical Examiner Michael Hunter. An examination of the body did not reveal an obvious cause of death. The man has probably been dead for between 3 days and a week. An autopsy is scheduled for later today.

The dead man is described as a white male, possibly Latin, with short black hair. According to lead investigator Detective John Ellsworth, he is somewhere between 30 and 50 years old, five foot five to five foot seven inches tall, 140 to 170 pounds. He was wearing Khaki long pants, a charcoal colored knit pullover short sleeved shirt. He had a distinctive black belt with gold and silver colored medallions on the back. He was not wearing shoes, and had white socks on.

Detective Ellsworth said it appears the body may have been dumped at the location where it was found. He said he is unaware of any missing person’s reports which fit the description of the dead man.

Anyone with information which might help detectives identify this man should call the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office immediately at 289-2410.

 

August 29, 2002

Stock Island man charged with sexual battery

Stock Island – A Stock Island man was arrested Tuesday morning and charged with Sexual Battery.

Deputies were called to E50 12th Avenue at 9:30 a.m. to reports of a possible domestic situation. When they arrived, they were directed by two witnesses to a back bedroom of the residence. In the bedroom, they found the victim and 55 year old James Zerfas. Deputies questioned the victim. She said she had been sleeping in Zerfas’ room with him. She said she awoke to find him naked, on top of her, forcing himself upon her. She said he fondled her and she repeatedly yelled at him to stop.

The two witnesses, who also live in the residence, heard her yelling and called the Sheriff’s Office for assistance.

Zerfas was arrested and charged with sexual battery. He was booked into the Monroe County Detention Center.

Two arrested for drugs after traffic stop

Summerland Key – Two Ramrod Key residents were arrested after a traffic stop Wednesday night.

Deputy Andrew Ensminger was on patrol when he saw a silver colored truck stopped at the intersection of Highway U.S. One and West Caribbean Drive just before 10 p.m. The truck sat at the intersection for several minutes, then turned right onto the Highway without signaling. The deputy stopped it at the 21 mile marker.

As the deputy was issuing a written warning for failing to signal, he noticed an open container of alcohol in the truck. He then noticed a multi-colored glass bottle on the floorboard on the driver’s side. He asked the passenger to pass the bottle to him. As she did so, she emptied a small white rock from the bottle onto the seat before handing it to the deputy. He recovered the rock, which tested positive for cocaine.

Further investigation turned up a can of insect repellent. Hidden inside the top of the can were 17 plastic bags of powdered cocaine. A number of other pills were found in the truck, along with numerous items of drug paraphernalia.

The driver, 32 year old Mathew Schilling of Ramrod Key, was charged with possession of cocaine with intent to sell. The passenger, 31 year old Roxann Hawks, was charged with tampering with evidence. They were both additionally charged with possession of drug paraphernalia and were booked into the Monroe County Detention Center.

Aggravated Battery investigation

Islamorada – Sheriff’s detectives are investigating an aggravated battery which took place in Islamorada Friday.

According to reports, several members of a group home for mildly mentally retarded patients in Homestead visited the Keys in a van last week. Among other activities, they went fishing. As they were driving back to Homestead on Friday, the driver pulled the van over at Whale Harbor to see if he could get some of their fish cleaned. While he was out of the van, one of the teenaged boys in the van used a knife to cut the throat of another one.

When the driver returned to the van, he discovered the injury. He had one of the passengers put pressure on the wound to keep it from bleeding. His son, who is not a resident at the group home, had come along on the trip against the policies of the group home. The driver was allegedly worried that he would lose his job, so he drove all the way back to Homestead before taking the victim to a hospital for treatment.

It reportedly took 11 staples to close the wound in the boy’s neck. Detectives are investigating the case.

August 23, 2002

Big Coppitt man caught stealing dive gear

Stock Island – A Big Coppitt Key man was arrested Wednesday afternoon after he was caught stealing dive gear from the dock of a Key Haven home.

The home’s owner said he came home for lunch at 12:30 p.m. and saw 33 year old Alexis Perez “Pucho” Herrara sitting on his seawall going through his dive gear. He then saw Herrara throwing the dive gear into the water. The victim called 911 for assistance, then went outside and yelled that he’d called police. He saw Herrara begin swimming away with the dive gear. A young boy was with him in the water.

Deputy Freddy Rodriguez arrived on the scene and ordered Herrara and the boy to return to the seawall. They complied. The deputy saw Herrara drop a bag full of the dive gear to the bottom. The victim went into the water and retrieved his dive gear, including a mask and snorkel, three catch bags, a weight belt, and a set of booties and gloves.

Herrara was arrested and charged with theft. The boy, who turned out to be his son, was taken home and turned over to the custody of his mother.

 

August 20, 2002

Student charged with possessing a weapon in school

Marathon – A Marathon High School student was arrested Monday and charged with possessing a weapon in school.

14 year old Dakota Gray reportedly got into an altercation with another student. They pushed each other at the doorway of a classroom. Gray tehn swung his arm at the other student, cutting him with a leather wristband he was wearing with small nails protruding from it. The victim was treated for his wounds.

Gray was escorted to the principle’s office by a teacher at the school. As he was walking, he dropped a wood handled knife with a five inch blade on the floor.  The teacher retrieved the knife and Gray admitted the weapon was his.

Gray was charged with possessing a knife on school property. More charges may be pending.

 

August 19, 2002

Inmate charged with attempted murder for attempting to throw officer from walkway at jail

Stock Island – An inmate at the Monroe County Detention Center on Stock Island was charged with attempted murder after he attempted to throw a detention deputy from an upper tier walkway in a general population unit last Thursday.

The inmate, 37 year old Larry Leatherwood, was reportedly angry because he wanted to move from a cell on the upper tier of the General Population Unit to the lower tier of the unit. He was told he would have to wait until the Classification Division approved the move. He attacked Detention Deputy LaQuire (Detention Deputies prefer not to use their first names) at 8:45 a.m. on the upper tier, just outside his cell. He was able to pick the deputy up and lift him over the railing which borders the upper tier walkway. The deputy, in obvious fear for his life, grabbed on to the railing to avoid a 20 foot drop to the concrete below. At that point, Detention Deputy Stubblefield joined the struggle. He was able to subdue Leatherwood, enabling Deputy LaQuire to climb back to safety. Leatherwood continued to violently fight with the two deputies, who eventually subdued him using pepper spray. They placed him in a restraint chair, and he was transferred to the detention center’s A Unit, a high profile unit reserved for the most unruly or dangerous inmates in the facility.

Leatherwood is being held in the facility pending his trial on murder charges. He is accused of shooting to death 34 year old Mark Evans at a party in Marathon October 31, 2000. He was allowed to stay in a General population unit in the facility rather than the high profile A Unit because his behavior, to this point, was judged to be good and he caused little trouble for officers in the facility.

 

August 15, 2002

Inmate attempts to throw officer from upper walkway at jail

Stock Island – An inmate at the Monroe County Detention Center on Stock Island attempted to throw a detention deputy from an upper tier walkway in a general population unit this morning (Thursday).

The inmate, 37 year old Larry Leatherwood, was reportedly angry because he wanted to move from a cell on the upper tier of the General Population Unit to the lower tier of the unit. He was told he would have to wait until the Classification Division approved the move. He attacked Detention Deputy LaQuire (Detention Deputies prefer not to use their first names) at 8:45 a.m. on the upper tier, just outside his cell. He was able to pick the deputy up and lift him over the railing which borders the upper tier walkway. The deputy, in obvious fear for his life, grabbed on to the railing to avoid a 20 foot drop to the concrete below. At that point, Detention Deputy Stubblefield joined the struggle. He was able to subdue Leatherwood, enabling Deputy LaQuire to climb back to safety. Leatherwood continued to violently fight with the two deputies, who eventually subdued him using pepper spray. They placed him in a restraint chair, and he was transferred to the detention center’s A Unit, a high profile unit reserved for the most unruly or dangerous inmates in the facility.

Leatherwood is in the facility on murder charges. He is accused of shooting to death 34 year old Mark Evans at a party in Marathon October 31, 2000. He was allowed to stay in a General population unit in the facility rather than the high profile A Unit because his behavior, to this point, was judged to be good and he caused little trouble for officers in the facility.

Detectives say felony charges are pending in this incident, which is still under investigation.

 

August 14, 2002

Teen arrested in connection with gun theft

Islamorada – A Key Largo teen was arrested after detectives found him to be involved with the theft of a large number of guns from an Islamorada residence in June.

According to Detective David Carey, 17 year old Josiah O’Neil Macshane, also known as “Crazy Macshane”, attended a party at a home on Leoni Drive in Islamorada June 1st. The son of the home’s owner, Glenn “Kendall” Vansant, Jr., was having the party while his father was out of town.

During the party, Macshane allegedly distracted Vansant, keeping him away from the house. The following day, Vansant discovered a large number of guns missing from a gun safe. He called the Sheriff’s Office to report the theft.

In the days following the party, Macshane reportedly bragged to friends about stealing the guns, saying he “robbed Kendall gangsta style” and “I got some shit to chop people in half and no one would hear because of the silencer on the end of it”. Two of the stolen guns were equipped with silencers.

A warrant was issued for Macshane’s arrest and he was taken into custody August 8th, charged with principal in the first degree ref. grand theft of a firearm. More arrests are expected in the case.

Two safes recovered; burglary discovered at Key Largo residence

Key Largo – A burglary was discovered at a Key Largo home after two safes were found forced open and discarded near the Card Sound Bridge Monday evening.

After the safes were reported to the Sheriff’s Office at 9:30 p.m., deputies responded to investigate. They found papers left with the discarded safes indicating they were from a home on Belmont Lane in the Twin Lakes Subdivision of Key Largo.

Deputy Neville Campbell went to the home in question and found a sliding glass door pried open and the inside of the house ransacked. Contact was made with members of the family who owns the house and they confirmed the safes were from the home. Further investigation revealed cash, jewelry and a number of handguns were missing, including a 9mm Smith and Wesson semi-automatic, a .38 caliber Smith and Wesson revolver, a .25 caliber Raven semi-automatic and a .25 caliber Jennings semi-automatic.

Detectives are investigating the break in. Anyone who has information about the case should contact the Sheriff’s Office. Callers who wish to remain anonymous can contact Crime Stoppers of the Florida Keys. If a tip leads to an arrest, the caller would be eligible for a cash reward. The Crime Stoppers hot line number is 1-800-346-TIPS.

 

August 13, 2002

Moped recovered; Stock Island man arrested.

Stock Island – A Stock Island man has been arrested after deputies caught him riding a stolen moped Monday evening.

Sgt. Daryl Hull spotted 35 year old Rodolfo Diaz northbound on Highway U.S. One at the five mile marker at 7:40 p.m. He ran the tag on the moped, and it came back as having been stolen from the city of Key West on August 8th. As Sgt. Hull was following the moped, Diaz pulled it off the road in the vicinity of the Key Haven boat ramp. He got of the moped and began walking away from it.

Sgt. Hull stopped him and asked whose moped it was. Diaz said it belonged to a friend, but couldn’t give a name. Further investigation revealed Diaz does not have a driver’s license. He also had no keys for the moped, and the moped showed signs of being “hot-wired”.

Diaz was arrested and charged with grand theft auto and driving with no license. The moped will be returned to its owner.

Man with stab wound shows up at hospital

Tavernier – Deputies were dispatched to Mariner’s Hospital in the early morning hours after a man showed up at the emergency room with a stab wound to his stomach.

The victim, 38 year old Efrain Guerra, could give deputies very little information about what happened to him. It was unclear from interviews where the stabbing took place, or who else was involved in the incident. He also had a small wound above his right ear.

Guerra was airlifted to the Ryder Trauma Center in Miami for treatment of his injuries. Detectives will be investigating.

Four arrested for stolen auto, vehicle burglary

Big Coppitt Key – Four young men were taken into custody by deputies this morning (Tuesday) after a Big Coppitt Key man saw one of them trying to break into his car.

The victim lives on Avenue E, Big Coppitt Key. He called the Sheriff’s Office at 3:50 a.m. after his dogs began barking and he saw someone trying to break into his car, parked in front of his residence. He was able to get a description of the red Jeep Cherokee, and the first three digits on its license plate. He said the vehicle was last seen fleeing northbound on the highway.

Deputy John Allen spotted the Jeep about 30 minutes later on Little Torch Key and he pulled it over. Investigations revealed the Jeep had been stolen from Little Torch Key home Monday night.

All four young men in the Jeep were arrested.19 year old Alexander Chavez, 18 year old Bradford Albury and 16 year old Justin Mills, all of Little Torch Key, and 17 year old William Siegal of Big Pine Key were all charged with grand theft auto. Chavez was also charged with attempted burglary to a vehicle after the Big Coppitt Key victim identified him as the one he saw breaking into his car. All four were booked at the Monroe County Detention Center.

 

August 12, 2002

Armed Robbery at Tavernier Dairy Queen

Tavernier – Sheriff’s detectives are investigating an armed robber at the Tavernier Dairy Queen shortly before midnight Sunday.

An employee of the restaurant told Deputy Laura Garcia he was counting out from the night’s receipts when he heard a noise. When he turned around, a man wearing a black ski mask and carrying a handgun was standing behind him. He put the gun to the back of the victim’s neck and said “give me all the money”. The victim complied. He then asked where the safe was and when the victim said there was no safe, the suspect hit him in the head with the gun. The victim them took him to the safe, and gave him the money from inside. The suspect then hit him in the head with the gun again, and left the scene. The victim says he thinks he blacked out for a few minutes, but when he woke up he called the Sheriff’s Office immediately.

The victim describes the suspect as a white male, six feet two inches tall with a muscular build. He was wearing a black ski mask with holes for his eyes, a dark colored long sleeved shirt, blue jeans and white latex gloves. He was carrying a black colored semi-automatic handgun.

Anyone with information about this case should contact the Sheriff’s Office immediately. Callers who wish to remain anonymous can contact Crime Stoppers of the Florida Keys. If a tip leads to an arrest, the caller would be eligible for a cash reward of up to $1,000.00. The Crime Stoppers hot line number is 1-800-346-TIPS.

Key Largo Winn Dixie burgled

Key Largo – Three men cut alarm wires at the Key Largo Winn Dixie in the early morning hours Sunday. They then cut holes in the roof, entered the store and stole over $23,000 worth of cigarettes.

The video tape from the store shows four suspects in the store with their faces and hands covered. They stole 784 cartons of cigarettes of various brands, valued at over $23,000, and five butcher knives valued at $300.00. The group exited the store by smashing out the rear door.

A manager discovered the break in at 5:45 a.m. when he reported for work. He called the Sheriff’s Office to report the crime.

Anyone with information about this case should contact the Sheriff’s Office immediately. Callers who wish to remain anonymous can contact Crime Stoppers of the Florida Keys. If a tip leads to an arrest, the caller would be eligible for a cash reward of up to $1,000.00. The Crime Stoppers hot line number is 1-800-346-TIPS.

Computers stolen from PK School

Plantation Key – Two computers were stolen from Plantation Key School.

The Compaq computers, valued at $1,100.00 each, were taken sometime between July 3rd and July 15th. They were last seen at the close of summer school and janitors who cleaned the room on July 15th say they weren’t in the room at that time. They didn’t report it then because they thought the computers might have been moved.

Upon returning for the new school year, a computer technician was notified. He confirmed that the computers were missing, and called the Sheriff’s Office to report it.

 

August 9, 2002

 Suspect wanted in Key Largo carjacking

Key Largo – Detectives are looking for two people in connection with a carjacking which took place in Key Largo at 9:30 Thursday night: A woman who witnessed the incident and may have crucial information, and the suspect who hit the victim in the face several times, then stole his truck.

The victim told Deputy Dave Campbell he was in his1999 Dodge Durango, southbound on the highway near the 99.5 mile marker when he was involved in a minor accident. He rear-ended a small green pickup truck with a woman driving. They got out of their cars and exchanged information, then agreed to meet at Wendy’s restaurant to work out details.

Just as the victim got back into his truck, a man walked up to the driver’s side window. He was visibly angry, and flicked a burning cigarette at the victim’s face. He said the female driver was his girlfriend and the victim was “disrespecting her”. He then attacked the victim, hitting him in the face several times. He reached inside the victim’s truck and put it in park. He then dragged the victim out of the truck, hit him three more times, then drove away in the truck.

The victim followed his truck on foot, down Bay View Drive. By the time he reached it, the suspect was gone, leaving the truck parked at the end of the street.

A witness who lives on the street said she heard a vehicle speeding toward the end of Bay View drive. She saw the truck stop, and saw the suspect exit, leaving the vehicle’s lights on. As the suspect walked by her home, he threw something into the garbage can. Further investigation revealed it to be the truck’s CD/DVD player, which was damaged when it was dropped into the garbage can.

Sheriff’s deputies, along with the Sheriff’s Knightstar helicopter, searched the area, but did not find the suspect. Detectives say the suspect is described as a white male, approximately 20 years old, five foot ten inches tall, 150 pounds with black hair in a buzz cut. Detectives would also like to talk to the female driver of the green truck, who left the scene before they could interview her. Her truck is a Chevrolet, maybe an S-10, apple green in color; she is described as young, maybe 18 years of age, very petite, with blonde shoulder length hair.

Anyone with information about this case should contact the Sheriff’s Office. Callers who wish to remain anonymous can call Crime Stoppers of the Florida Keys. If a tip leads to an arrest, the caller would be eligible for a cash reward. The Crime Stoppers hot line number is 1-800-346-TIPS.

 

August 8, 2002

Key Largo man charged with cruelty to animals

Key Largo – A Key Largo man has been charged with cruelty to animals for throwing a kitten down, fracturing its skull and killing it.

The incident occurred July 19th at the Kawama yacht club in Key Largo. Witnesses called to report the incident. They told Deputy Andrew Leird they saw 64 year old Fernando Guisasola throw a kitten onto the ground, killing it.

The kitten’s body was recovered and taken to Dr. Clifford Glade, a veterinarian, for a necropsy. After examining the kitten, the Dr. Glade told Detective Sgt. Corey Bryan, the cat died of multiple blunt force trauma to the head. According to the detective, it appeared from the injuries that the cat had been thrown down more than once before it died.

Detective Bryan interviewed Guisasola. Guisasola said he killed the kitten because its mother was dead and he did not want it to suffer. According to Detective Bryan, however, the mother cat is still alive, and the kitten was four months old – old enough to survive on its own, according to Dr. Glade. Detective Bryan reminded Guisasola that he could have contacted Animal Control or a local vet to take care of the cat, if he was worried about it’s survival.

A warrant was obtained for Guisasola and he was arrested today (Thursday) at 10:30 a.m. He was charged with animal cruelty involving an act which causes cruel death or excessive repeated infliction of unnecessary pain or suffering, a felony of the third degree. The offense carries a possible sentence of up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.00. Bond on the warrant is set at $5,000.00.

 

August 5, 2002

Man charged with ecstasy possession after traffic stop

Marathon – A Kentucky man was arrested for possessing Ecstasy pills after a routine traffic stop in Marathon Saturday in the early morning hours.

Deputy Chuck Meier stopped the 1994 Honda at 111th Street and U.S. One at 3:15 a.m. The driver, 20 year old Claude Rafferty, was informed of the reason for the stop: he was displaying improper blue colored lights on the outside of his vehicle. He was given the option of a warning if he would correct the problem immediately, in the presence of the deputy.

During the stop, Deputy Meier requested permission to search Rafferty’s car. Rafferty agreed to the search. Inside the car, the deputy found 8 pills believed to be Ecstasy.

Rafferty was arrested, charged with possessing the illegal substance and he was booked into the Monroe County Detention Center.

Key Largo woman charged with obtaining prescriptions fraudulently

Key Largo – A Key Largo woman was charged Sunday with obtaining prescriptions from at least five different doctors at the same time, as well as with possessing marijuana.

Deputy Jason Madnick responded to reports of a minor accident at 11:15 a.m. Sunday at the intersection of Tarpon Basin Drive and Highway U.S. One. At the scene, he found that 30 year old Jennifer Colburn had apparently rear-ended a van at the traffic light.

Deputy Madnick asked Colburn for permission to search the car. The search revealed a small amount of marijuana, items of drug paraphernalia including needles, syringes and rolling papers, and a number of prescription bottles with various types of medication inside. Further investigation revealed the prescriptions came from at least five different doctors, and several of the medications were similar in nature. None of the doctors reportedly knew the others were prescribing medication to Colburn.

Colburn was charged with possessing marijuana and drug paraphernalia; she was also charged with obtaining controlled substances by misrepresentation; and withholding “information from a practitioner from whom the person seeks to obtain a controlled substance or prescription for a controlled substance that the person has received a controlled substance or a prescription for a controlled substance of like therapeutic use from another practitioner within the last 30 days.”

Marathon man found dead at Seven Mile Bridge

Marathon – A Marathon man was found dead at the north end of the Seven Mile Bridge Friday morning.

46 year old Boyd Burlinson was found dead next to a park bench on the ocean side of the bridge early Friday morning by a family on their way to fish nearby. When Sheriff’s detectives arrived, they found him lying on the ground, as if he fell from the bench when he died. They found several bottles of beer a bag of pills believed to be Phenobarbital, a small amount of marijuana and some cigarettes near the body.

Burlinson reportedly suffered from long term health problems, and lived with his brother on 12th Street in Marathon. He was last seen by his brother Thursday night at approximately 11 p.m. The brother said he got up at 4 a.m. and Burlinson was gone from the house. He said it was not unusual for his brother to leave the house in the middle of the night.

An autopsy did not reveal a specific cause of death, but Detective James Norman said there were no obvious signs of foul play and it appears that the death may be accidental in nature. The specific cause of death is currently undetermined pending toxicology results.

Man found dead in Big Pine Key canal

Big Pine Key – A Big Pine Key man was found dead in the canal behind his home Sunday morning, possibly the victim of an accidental drowning.

77 year old Gerald Tilseth was found by a neighbor floating face down in the canal behind their homes at 11:30 a.m. Sunday. The neighbor enlisted the help of another resident and they pulled the body from the water.

When deputies and paramedics arrived on the scene, they determined Tilseth was definitely dead. They found evidence that he may have slipped and fell into the canal: one of his sandals was on land behind his home and the other one in the water beside his body; there were scuff marks where it looked like he slipped at the edge and fell in.

The medical examiner’s office responded and took custody of the body. An autopsy will be done to determine the exact cause of his death. According to Deputy Manuel Cuervo, it appears Tilseth drowned after falling into the canal.

 

August 2, 2002

Two men arrested in fight between neighbors

Marathon – Deputies arrested two men who live next door to each after. The two men got into a fight, then one broke into the other’s home.

According to deputies reports, the two men got into a confrontation in front of their residences. Both men live in trailers at 2188 Overseas Highway in Marathon. During the confrontation, 27 year old Robert Salwin told 33 year old Bennett Johnston not to come on his property or he would show him what he would do. Johnston then, reportedly, stepped onto Salwin’s property. Salwin then allegedly picked up a glass bottle and hit Johnston in the head with it. They began fighting, rolling around on the ground, and Salwin allegedly hit Johnston on the head with the bottle again, breaking it.

After the fighting stopped, Salwin told deputies he went inside his house. He said his wife and small child were inside as well. He said Johnston ran in their front door yelling. He said Johnston hit him, and threatened his wife. Salwin reportedly forced Johnston out of the house, but Johnston allegedly began throwing rocks, shattering the glass in his door.

When deputies arrived, they eventually sorted out the stories, and interviewed witnesses in the area. Johnston was taken to Fisherman’s Hospital for treatment of facial injuries he sustained in the fight. He was then arrested, charged with burglary and criminal mischief, and he was booked into the Monroe County Detention Center.

Salwin was arrested and charged with aggravated battery. He was further charged with possession of marijuana after deputies saw a small amount of the drug inside his house. He was also booked into the Monroe County Detention Center.

Salwin’s wife, Sara Salwin, was charged with resisting arrest and she was issued a notice to appear in court. She struggled with deputies and pushed one of them as they were arresting her husband.

 

August 1, 2002

Detectives need help with Tavernier burglaries

Tavernier – Sheriff’s detectives are investigating a series of break ins in a Tavernier Subdivision.

Seven burglaries have occurred in the Tavernier Cove Subdivision since May. Suspects use various methods of entering the homes, and take a wide variety of items. One possible clue: on June 20th, neighbors saw someone behind a house in the neighborhood looking through a doggie door. He was described as a white male, in his 20s, five foot ten inches tall, thin build with short dark hair and a mustache. He was described as unkempt, wearing boxer type shorts and a white tank top with earrings in his ears. When the neighbors confronted him, he gave the name “Mark Jenkins” and said he was looking for the “Williams” family. Detective Larry O’Neill said no Williams family lives in the area.

Some of the items stolen included:

·       A PowerMac G4 Apple laptop computer

·       A black leather Kenneth Cole wallet

·       A Sony Cybershot camera

·       A VCR – unknown brand

·       A Sharper Image stereo

·       Two black JVC speakers

·       A JVC radio cassette player

·       A Uniden cordless phone

·       Two Astra web cams

·       A Russian SKS 7.62 mm rifle

Detective O’Neil said the suspect(s) left a red plastic flashlight behind during one of the break ins.

Anyone with any information about the items stolen, or about suspicious persons or activity in that neighborhood over the past few months should call Crime Stoppers of the Florida Keys. Callers whose information leads to an arrest would be eligible for a cash reward. The Crime Stoppers hot line number is 1-800-346-TIPS.

23 computers stolen from Coral Shores High School

Plantation Key – A large amount of computer equipment was reported missing from Coral Shores High School Wednesday.

Detectives say the computer equipment is estimated to be worth between $30,000.00 and $40,000.00. According to reports, the computer teacher at the school first noticed parts missing from some computers in early June, as they began moving the equipment from the old school building to the new one. When he did an inventory July 29th, he discovered 15 full sized computers and 8 laptops missing, along with parts from 12 other computers. That is when he called the Sheriff’s Office to investigate.

Detective David Carey responded, along with Deputy Nelson Sanchez. They said they could not determine the method of entry for the suspects because too many people had access to the area during the time in question. The computers were stored in two classrooms, one up stairs and one down stairs. One door on the upstairs classroom was not able to be secured, and in the downstairs classroom, the doors were left propped open on numerous occasions, according to the report.

The investigation is continuing.

15 year old charged with burglary

Little Torch Key – A 15 year old boy was arrested Wednesday after he was caught inside a house going through a change jar.

A Little Torch Key woman called the Sheriff’s Office at 3 p.m. to report that her house had been burglarized. She said she returned home to find a strange bicycle in her front yard. When she went into the house, she found someone in her bedroom, going through a change jar. She confronted him. He said he was sorry and he left the house, getting on his bicycle and riding down Coral Shore drive.

When deputies arrived, they found 15 year old Justin Mills in the area on a bike similar to the one described by the victim. She identified him as the person she caught in her house. Mills was arrested, charged with burglary and he was booked at the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office.