Around the Region - Jan. 1

Published: Thursday, January 1, 2009 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, January 1, 2009 at 12:12 a.m.


Man jailed in theft and kidnapping

A Gainesville man was in custody Wednesday on charges of carjacking and two counts of kidnapping in connection with a robbery earlier this month, according to an arrest report.

Edward Carmel Wilson, 27, was in the Alachua County jail, where he was being held on a $150,000 bond late Wednesday, the facility's records showed.

Police allege Wilson set up a robbery by telling others accused in the case that the victims had been bragging about having "pounds" of marijuana. Officers accused Wilson of telling others where the victims could be found and that taking the drug from them would be "easy."

The incident occurred on Dec. 17 when two people were approached at Kiwanis Park, told at gunpoint to get into a vehicle and then were driven around Gainesville and told they would be shot and killed.

Police said the pair were then told to show the suspects where an acquaintance lived. That person was later robbed.

One of the victims was put inside a vehicle's truck while the other was used to trick the acquaintance into letting the robber into his home, police said.

— Lise Fisher

Police say man wielded shotgun

Gainesville police arrested a Newberry man for armed trespassing early Wednesday after security officers at a local apartment complex said he reached for a shotgun after he was told him to leave the premises.

Brandon Arredondo, 20, was released from the Alachua County jail on charges of armed trespassing and leaving the scene of an accident with damage, jail records showed.

Security officers at Cabana Beach Apartments off SW 51st Terrace told police Arredondo drove into the complex overnight at a high rate of speed, said Lt. Steve Weaver. He was told to leave the complex but instead drove to another location at Cabana Beach. When the security officers again spotted him, they again went to order that he leave the premises.

Weaver said the security officers reported Arredondo reached for a shotgun in the pickup he was driving. As he did, a shotgun shell rolled out of the front seat, Weaver said.

The security officers said they backed away as Arredondo got back into the pickup and drove away, hitting a car as he left the complex.

Officer Joseph Register spotted the pickup and stopped Arredondo, Weaver said. Police found the shotgun and several shells inside the vehicle.

— Lise Fisher


Meeting set for Main St. repaving

A meeting is set for Monday, Jan. 12, to provide details to residents and property and business owners along N. Main Street about plans to mill and resurface N. Main from 8th Avenue to 23rd Avenue.

The Alachua County Public Works Department will hold a public information meeting from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at the County Administration Building, 2nd Floor, Grace Knight Conference Room, 12 SE 1st St.

The project will include modifications to the striping and sidewalk and signal enhancements between 8th and 23rd avenues.

The meeting will be an open house format with display boards and staff available to answer questions.

For more information, contact Jennifer Spagnoli, Alachua County Public Works, at 374-5245 ext. 217 or

— Staff report


‘Swindler' written on Madoff statue

PALM BEACH — A $10,000 statue stolen from the Palm Beach estate of disgraced financier Bernard Madoff has been found, with a message.

Palm Beach police say the copper sculpture of two seated lifeguards was discovered Wednesday in bushes a few blocks from Madoff's $9.4 million home.

A note attached to it read, in part: "Bernie the Swindler, Lesson: Return stolen property to rightful owners."

Police say the statue does not appear to have been damaged and the investigation continues. It was reported missing on Dec. 22.

- The Associated Press

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