Florida is notorious for wacky crime stories. There are even Twitter accounts and other social media pages dedicated to the antics of “Florida Man” that include headlines for out-there crimes. For example, “Florida Man Hands Joint to Cops.” Of all the crimes that are committed in Florida, however, no crime brings more bizarre headlines than theft.
In January, a woman from Lady Lake, Florida, was arrested for auto theft. The woman had been reported to the police after she tried to enter multiple homes, and when police arrived on the scene, she was attempting to get in a pickup truck.
Nearby, a Kia was parked in the street with its lights on and a door open. When police looked inside the vehicle, they found the woman’s full set of dentures. Upon further investigation, police discovered that the woman did not own the car. She had stolen the Kia, was attempting to steal the pickup truck, and now sits in Lake County Jail with two charges of auto theft and a $10,000 bond against her.
Moral of the story? Don’t leave your teeth in a stolen vehicle, especially while you’re attempting to steal a second vehicle.
Other Strange Florida Theft Stories
This is a pretty strange story, but it’s only one of the recent stories of theft or related crimes that made for wacky headlines in Florida newspapers recently. Here are just a few more:
- December 15, 2016: A person in Holiday, Florida attempted to rob a gas station. To disguise themselves, they drew a beard onto their face. The disguise actually worked out pretty well. Police were still searching for them at the time that the story was reported, and officials weren’t sure if the perpetrator was a man or a woman.
- December 13, 2016: A man attempted to steal pigeons and tools from a Miami botanica. For his disguise, he wore a bucket on his head. In a video provided by the botancia, the offender fell off a ladder… probably because he couldn’t see very well.
- January 2017: On January 8, Jefferey Allen Dove called police officers in Summerfield to report a break-in at his neighbor’s home. The perpetrator stole computers and jewelry. Neighbors banded together to find surveillance videos of the property, and ended up finding a video showing Dove himself breaking into the neighbor’s home and committing the theft.
- January 12, 2017: Martin Henderson, of Largo, needed some sesame seeds for a hamburger bun. He decided to steal them from his neighbor in the middle of the night. When he did this, he was naked.
- November 1, 2016: Here’s another midnight-snack-gone-wrong story. Two men broke the glass door of the Tampa Farmer’s Market. Why? Apparently they were just hungry, because after their break in, they proceeded to drink soda and eat some of the fruit in the market.
- October 14, 2016: Sometimes, you just want a nice dinner. So what do you do? Sneak it out in your pants. It appears that was Mark Alan Belkola’s bright idea when he attempted to steal $173 worth of lobster and steak from a Walmart in Brooksville.
- September 23, 2016: We don’t know why anyone would want to make a nude Donald Trump statue in the first place, much less why anyone would want to steal it. However, while our current President was still running, a Wynwood man was arrested and charged with grand theft and burglary for removing the six-foot statue, called “The Emperor Has No Balls,” from its display. When it was returned, it had been beheaded.
Keep in mind that not only are all of these stories from our state, they all happened within the last six months.
Even a “Wacky” Theft Charge Can – and Should – Be Fought
Reading these stories, you may think that the people involved have no chance at beating their charges. You never know, though. Even if something seems like an open and shut case, there are still things that a skilled theft lawyer can do to fight to get charges reduced, dropped, or dismissed.
It is important to remember this if you ever find yourself facing theft charges, because if you are convicted, your penalties could be quite severe.
Unfortunately, it’s easier than you might think to reach some of Florida’s most serious theft charges. Theft of only $300 is a felony of the third degree, which can land you in prison for up to five years. Specific types of theft (like motor vehicle theft), or theft committed alongside other crimes, like burglary or robbery, could result in first degree felony charges – and up to 30 years in prison.
If you are charged with theft, you should start building your defense strategy immediately. The first step involves calling an experienced Florida theft crimes lawyer, and discussing your charges, outcomes, and your lawyer’s opinions on the case.
About the Author:
Attorney David W. Olson is the founder of the Law Offices of David W. Olson in West Palm Beach. He has been practicing criminal law and successfully representing clients throughout the State of Florida for over 30 years. Throughout his legal career, Mr. Olson has been honored numerous times for both his dedication and excellence in criminal law. He proudly holds the Martindale-Hubbell AV Rating, as well as being recognized as a Top 100 Trial Lawyer (2013), in the Nation’s Top One Percent of attorneys (2015), and as a 10 Best Member of the American Institute of Criminal Law Attorneys (2015). He has even received commendations from members of congress and other public officials for the fantastic work that he’s done. Mr. Olson graduated from the University of Florida’s Fredric G. Levin College of Law in 1981 and has been a member of the Florida Bar since 1983.