Around the Region - Jan. 13

Published: Tuesday, January 13, 2009 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, January 13, 2009 at 1:53 a.m.


Bank says deposit box burglarized

Officers are investigating a possible break-in at a night deposit box at a Newberry Road bank, the Alachua County Sheriff's Office reported Monday afternoon.

Bank of America, 7606 Newberry Road, contacted authorities Monday morning, reporting what appeared to be missing bank bags in their night deposit box, said Sheriff's Office spokesman Art Forgey.

Forgey said bank employees told officers that they believed that their night deposit box had been burglarized.

"They have only a few bags, when normally it's full," he said.

Crews could be seen at the bank repairing the night deposit box Monday afternoon.

Lise Fisher and Karen Voyles

Police: Man tried to break into bar

Loud banging sounds coming from a local tavern alerted Gainesville police to a burglary in progress early Monday.

Officers found Michael A. Hall, 19, of Waldo, trying to break into JR's Lounge, 4401 NW 6th St., with a sledgehammer, said Gainesville Police Lt. Steve Weaver.

A person contacted police about "loud banging" coming from behind the business at about 3 a.m., Weaver said.

Officers discovered Hall, wearing gloves and a homemade stocking mask, inside a wooden fence at the business and carrying a sledgehammer and a carpenter's hammer. Hall had been pounding at plywood siding near a door to the business, trying to get inside, police said.

Police detained Hall and, after interviewing him, said the man admitted he was trying to get inside the lounge to steal the business' cash register.

Hall was arrested on charges of burglary of a business, possession of burglary tools and criminal mischief, Alachua County jail records showed.

A $12,000 bond had been set for his release.

Lise Fisher

Police looking for armed robber

The Alachua County Sheriff's Office is looking for help identifying a possible suspect who may be connected to an armed robbery.

The suspect was recorded by surveillance cameras on Dec. 23 at the Alamar Kangaroo gas station at 4234 SW 20th Ave. Footage from the cameras shows the suspect parking a dark-colored SUV at the gas pumps, then spray-painting the lenses of two security cameras.

The suspect in the lens-painting episode is being sought by the Gainesville Police Department for questioning about an armed robbery elsewhere, investigators said.

Deputies said the footage from the lens-painting is inconclusive about whether the suspect is male or female. The suspect appeared to be wearing a dark hooded sweatshirt.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Alachua County Sheriff's Office at 955-1818. If you have information and wish to remain anonymous, call Crime Stoppers at 372-STOP (7867).

Karen Voyles


Couple killed by carbon monoxide

DAVIE Authorities say an elderly Davie couple died after leaving their car running in their garage.

Police believe they died from inhaling the carbon monoxide that had filled their garage Saturday night. Their deaths have been ruled accidental.

It appears that 83-year-old Dorothy Roth forgot to shut off the car after helping her wheelchair-bound husband, 88-year-old David Roth, into the house. The garage had all night to fill with gas, which flowed into the home the next morning when the wife opened the door. The couple and their dog were all overcome by the gas.

They were found by their son later in the day.

The Associated Press

Judge: No religion on school campus

PENSACOLA A federal judge has ordered Santa Rosa County schools to stop promoting religion.

The judge granted a preliminary injunction late Friday night. The American Civil Liberties Union had filed a suit against the school district in August, claiming that school officials were proselytizing and conducting other religious activities in public schools. The court's order requires school officials to stop a number of activities that promote religion.

The school district filed an admission of liability with the court last month, offering to self-correct any unconstitutional practices. Superintendent Tim Wyrosdick says the school district had actually been working on the problem before the suit was filed and plans to comply with the judge's ruling completely.

The Associated Press

Army reservist dies after training

PINELLAS PARK Authorities say an Army reservist from St. Petersburg died after doing physical fitness training with his unit.

The soldier's name was not released Monday.

The Associated Press

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