These vehicle burglaries happened between Feb. 18 and 28 in the Countryside area.
Police warn of vehicle burglaries CLEARWATER – From Feb. 18 to 28, there were 14 vehicle burglaries in the Countryside area that appear to be related, according to Clearwater Police. All incidents involve cars that were unlocked where items of opportunity were taken, including iPods, sunglasses, money and GPS units. Most of these incidents happened overnight. Police remind the public to lock vehicles and do not leave valuables inside.
Have a safe spring break CLEARWATER – It may have been chilly, but Clearwater Police remind the public that spring break season has started and to take precautionary measures:
• Lock all vehicles, take your keys with you and secure your belongings.
• Don’t leave items unattended on beach blankets.
• No alcohol is permitted on the beach.
• Pedestrians should use crosswalks and drivers should use caution.
Alabama men charged for shooting marbles CLEARWATER – Clearwater police have arrested two Alabama men for a weekend crime spree that included shooting out the windows of businesses and moving vehicles, according to a Clearwater police report.
Dominick Zambrano, 24, of Irvington, Ala., and Seth Cazalas, 22, of Mobile, Ala., were visiting a friend in town. Detectives believe they are responsible for the 28 cases that have been reported citywide over the weekend of March 2 and 3. The two allegedly used slingshots to shoot marbles at 21 businesses and seven vehicles. No one was hurt.
Zambrano was charged with felony shooting a deadly missile into/at/within an occupied vehicle, and three counts of felony mischief. He was being held at the Pinellas County Jail in lieu of $10,450 bond. Cazalas was charged with felony shooting a deadly missile into an occupied vehicle and criminal mischief causing between $200 and $1,000-worth of damage. He was being held at the Pinellas County Jail in lieu of $10,150 bond.
Shooting suspect charged CLEARWATER – Clearwater detectives have identified and arrested a suspect regarding a Sept. 30 shooting in the 600 block of Grant Street, according to a Clearwater police report.
Aaron Hoyte, 31, of Clearwater was already an inmate in the Pinellas County Jail on unrelated drug charges, the report said. The shooting victim has been released from the hospital. Hoyte remains in jail on the charges of attempted felony murder, felonious possession of a firearm, and armed robbery with a firearm. He was already sentenced for possession of cocaine.
Police issue parenting safety tips CLEARWATER – Clearwater police remind parents that when children reach the preteen and teenage years, they are not as dependent on their parents, who may not be dropping them off and picking them up from school anymore or always be present when they are with their friends. It is a tough balancing act between independence and safety, but police say parents still need to keep some guidelines in place to avoid miscommunications and ensure their teen’s safety. Police suggest the following:
• Require your children to check with you before going anywhere. Children need to let parents know where they are going, how they will get there, who will be going along with them and when they will return home. When possible, they should leave a phone number of where they will be.
• Get to know your children’s friends. Meet their parents before letting your children go to their home and keep a list of their phone numbers. If you can’t meet their parents, call and talk to them and ask what your children may do while at their house and if they will be supervised.
• If your child’s friend wants to spend the night, make sure you communicate with the child’s parents. Don’t take the child’s word for it that they have permission to be there.
Juvenile caught regarding burglary; others sought CLEARWATER – On Feb. 26, Clearwater Police responded to a burglary in progress after a man heard a noise at the rear of his house in the 2300 block of Chaucer Street, according to a police report. When the man checked it out, he saw four juveniles inside his rear porch. They ran and dropped several pieces of property, including coins and laptop computers, the report said.
Patrol officers set up a perimeter and K-9 officers responded. A responding officer saw a juvenile fitting the description given by the victim, and he was riding a bicycle going in the opposite direction. When the officer tried to make contact with the juvenile, he jumped off the bike and ran. K-9 Major tracked the juvenile to the 200 block of Pegasus Avenue where he was arrested. The 17-year-old was positively identified. Detectives were working to identify the three other suspects. Detectives linked a computer discarded by the juvenile to a second burglary in the 1300 block of Dickinson Drive. There may be additional victims, based on the property recovered from the scene. Charges are pending for additional possible burglaries.
Churches burglarized CLEARWATER – Clearwater Police were investigating multiple church burglaries that happened between Feb. 23 and 26. Four churches were broken into and undisclosed amounts of money were stolen at each location. In all three burglaries, the suspect or suspects forced entries through doors or windows. The churches burglarized are:
• Skycrest United Methodist, 2045 Drew St.
• Friendship United Methodist, 2039 Druid Road
• Grace Lutheran, 1812 N. Highland Ave.
• Light of Christ, 2176 Marilyn St.
A church van also was stolen from Grace Lutheran Church after the keys were obtained during the break-in. It was recovered a short time later. Anyone with information is asked to contact the burglary unit at 562-4310 or the Clearwater Police Tip Line at 562-4080 and press option 2.