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Police still seek hit and run driver
PINELLAS PARK – Police are still searching for the driver of a van who on Aug. 5 ran down and killed a pedestrian on 66th Street.

Killed was Arthur Maurer, 58, of 9790 66th St. He died at Bayfront Medical Center, St. Petersburg, of head and other injuries.

Police said he was crossing 66th Street near Park Boulevard when he was first struck by a car driven by Heather Forcier of St. Petersburg. She stopped, but a van then hit Maurer a second time. That driver stopped and then fled the scene.

Sgt. Paul Andrews said five to seven witnesses came forward to provide information about the vehicle. He said the driver should have stopped, especially since she was not at fault.

“The victim walked into the path of moving traffic,” Andrews said. “The unidentified driver ran away and now faces second degree felony charges, a fine and prison time.”

Andrews urged the driver to surrender while that’s still possible. He is confident that police will eventually identify and arrest her.

The van is described as a white over gold or beige Toyota Sienna with possible front end damage. The driver is described as a white, heavy-set woman with blonde hair in her late 30s or early 40s. She was wearing a yellow shirt and white shorts.

A passenger with her was described as a white male with blonde hair in his late teens or early 20s. He had a medium build and wore a white T-shirt and black pants.

Anyone with information should call Officer Michael Nicholson at 541-0758 or Crimestoppers at 1-800-873-TIPS.

Suspect charged with home invasion
PINELLAS PARK – A man arrested by St. Petersburg police Aug. 11 for alleged home invasion has been charged here in connection with a similar crime last May.

Scorpio Mitchell, 21, no address, is in the Pinellas County Jail for alleged home invasion by false impersonation, burglary and battery.

Sgt. Paul Andrews said Mitchell and another man were arrested last week in St. Petersburg. Police said the suspects allegedly told the 84-year-old victim that they represented the water company and had to check the home’s plumbing. The suspicious woman called police.

Andrews said the victim alleged that two men identified themselves as water company employees. When she threatened to call police, one threw her on a couch. They fought briefly and the victim was then pushed into a wall before the men escaped.

The woman suffered bruises.

Police believe Mitchell may be part of the Mitchell Clan of the “Travelers,” a notorious band of nomads based in North Carolina. It’s alleged that members come to Florida certain times of the year to prey on senior citizens.

“They use the water company employee and other scams to rob the elderly,” Andrews said. “They work in teams. While one distracts the homeowner another burglarizes the house.”

In the Pinellas Park case they tried to escape with a heavy safe, but were unsuccessful.
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