Police arrest 21 in prostitution crackdown CLEARWATER – Clearwater police completed a two-night crackdown on prostitution in the East Gateway area, finishing early in the morning on Aug. 10. A total of 21 arrests were made, according to Clearwater police. There were 15 prostitution-related charges, with eight men and seven women arrested. The arrests were made between Drew and Court streets and Missouri and Highland avenues. This is all part of the department’s efforts to crack down on these crimes that affect the quality of life for residents and merchants in the area.
Alleged bank robber arrested CLEARWATER – Clearwater police arrested Robert Ashcroft, 52, of Holiday Aug. 8. Ashcroft is accused of robbing the Bank of America at 1911 N. Belcher Road on July 31. Ashcroft is charged with robbery and driving with a license suspended or revoked, as well as Pasco County charges of failure to appear for driving with a license suspended or revoked, failure to appear on leaving the scene of an accident, and violation of parole for driving with a license suspended or revoked. He is being held at the Pinellas County Jail in lieu of $30,026 bond.
Alleged beach blanket thieves caught CLEARWATER – On Aug. 7, Clearwater arrested two people in connection to a beach blanket theft on Clearwater Beach, according to a police report. The victim had gone for a swim and noticed the duo taking items from his blanket and chased them while calling police on the phone, the report said. Officers arrived as the two people tried to drive away with a 15-year-old at the wheel who had no knowledge of the thefts.
Paul Guglielmo, 43, of Holiday was charged with neglect of a child and petit theft. Ashley Nenu, 25, of Holiday was charged with neglect of a child and petit theft as well. They both were released from the Pinellas County Jail on $5,150 bonds.
Man wielding Samurai sword arrested CLEARWATER – A trespassing call on Aug. 7 turned dangerous when a man brandished a pair of Samurai swords when Clearwater police officers responded, according to a police report. Police were able to get the woman who had called police safely away from the home at 1735 Ragland Avenue as the man barricaded himself inside the house for two hours. Joel Shack, who police say has a lengthy, violent criminal record, eventually was arrested after negotiators talked him out of the house. He was charged with violation of parole for felony battery and a Polk County failure to appear charge. No bond was set for him and he was being held in the Pinellas County Jail.
Burglar arrested CLEARWATER – An alert city of Clearwater parks and recreation worker and Clearwater police resulted in the arrest of a 23-year-old man on Aug. 6 after he allegedly broke into a beach store and stole $2,500-worth of goods, according to a Clearwater police report.
The suspect stole towels, suntan lotion, sunglasses, water guns and other items from the gazebo that Hyatt Regency operates at 301 S. Gulfview Blvd., the report said. The parks and recreation worker noticed the suspect removing items in black garbage bags and called police. The burglar and the missing loot were found under the Sand Key Bridge.
Gregory McClain of Wesley Chapel was charged with grand theft and burglary of an unoccupied structure and is being held at the Pinellas County Jail in lieu of $4,500 bond.
AmeriCorps members of the month CLEARWATER – Team leaders Cody Parkinson and Katherine Melo are AmeriCorps members of the month for June and July, respectively, according to a Clearwater police brief.
This is Parkinson’s third year in the program as he pursues an accounting degree at USF. He hopes to join the FBI and work in economic crimes. Melo is finishing her second year with AmeriCorps and is working toward her bachelor’s degree in criminology at SPC. She wants to become a Clearwater police officer.