Loud stereos in cars may cost their drivers more

Published: Thursday, January 16, 2003 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, January 16, 2003 at 1:01 a.m.

People who love to crank up the volume on their car stereos, watch out: You may pay higher fines and even lose your license in the future. The Gainesville Police Department has presented a proposal to the state Legislature to increase fines for repeat offenders.

Now, anyone caught with car stereo music blaring loud enough to be heard from more than 100 feet away is fined $63, no matter how many times they get ticketed.

If the Legislature approves GPD's proposal, anyone ticketed for a loud car stereo twice in one year would be fined $126, and anyone ticketed three times would have to pay $189 and have their driver's license suspended for as many as six months.

GPD issues about 1,000 tickets a year for loud car stereos, Officer Eric McCue says.

  • Homeowner scam: Reports of theft, intimidation and shoddy work have Gainesville Police warning residents about a man who has been offering to do odd jobs for homeowners in northwest city subdivisions.

    Police say they're concerned because he seems to focus on elderly residents, some of whom report he cowed them into paying for jobs that weren't properly completed. Others told officers items were missing from their homes.

    "He kind of forces his way in," Gainesville Police Cpl. Keith Kameg said.

    The man, who police say is polite at first with potential customers, has asked for $35 to $50 for work such as washing windows or cars. Some residents told police that when they asked whether he did a good job, he became intimidating. In some cases, they said when they didn't have cash to pay him, he told them he would ride with them to an ATM to get the money.

    The man has identified himself by different first names including Aran, Erin and Aaron. He is black, in his 20s, about 5-foot-9 and weighs about 180 pounds, police report. Anyone with information may call police at 334-2400.

  • It's pot for sale: An out-of-business barbecue stand, which investigators say doubled as a front for marijuana sales, now will be in the hands of a local youth program.

    The Southeast Boys and Girls Club received the mobile barbecue stand Wednesday. It was donated by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, the Gainesville Police Department and the Drug Enforcement Administration.

    The stand had belonged to Raiford Griffin, 27, who is now serving a five-year federal prison sentence on a charge of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute in excess of 100 kilograms of cannabis.

    An investigation showed that Griffin, who ran the Finger Tips Barbecue stand, had been selling drugs along with his barbecue. Investigators have described Griffin as "a major supplier" of marijuana in the area for more than 20 years.

    "He did use it to sell barbecue, but a large part of his business was meeting people and making arrangements for the distribution of marijuana," FDLE agent Jeff Fortier said.

    The stand had been seized by law enforcement during the case against Griffin.

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