Around the region for Jan. 11, 2012

Published: Tuesday, January 10, 2012 at 11:12 p.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, January 10, 2012 at 11:12 p.m.


Stolen bleachers sold to recycling center

Deputies say an unemployed Hawthorne man tried stole bleachers from the city park and tried to get money for the metal at a recycling center.

City officials told the Alachua County Sheriff’s Office that someone took six sections of aluminum stadium bleachers from Hawthorne City Park on Saturday.

In an arrest report, Deputy Robert Stafford said a video camera at a local recycling center captured images of Michael J. Beall, 22, selling the bleachers - weighing a combined 151 pounds - for $83.05.

Beall was arrested Monday on charges of grand theft and dealing in stolen property.

Stafford picked up the bleachers Monday and returned them to the city.

— Karen Voyles

Man accused of collecting unemployment illegally

State officials have charged a Gainesville man with accepting unemployment payments while he was working for the federal government in 2010.

Mark A. Otte, 55, of 5500 SW Archer Rd., was arrested Monday on a warrant charging him with fraud to obtain unemployment compensation.

Court documents filed by the Florida Agency for Workforce Innovation accuse Otte of accepting $3,944 in unemployment while he was employed by the U.S. Postal Service. The court documents indicate Otte accepted the payments between early February and early November in 2010.

The state is also requesting that Otte repay the $200 the agency spent to investigate the case.

— Karen Voyles

Man robbed at gunpoint after playing basketball

A 24-year-old man playing a pick-up basketball game with four other men at Fred Cone Park off East University Avenue Monday evening told police he was robbed by the players at gunpoint.

When the game was over, the victim said the four men — whom he did not know — all got into a white, 2003 Honda Accord. When he asked for a ride, he said one of the men showed him a .22-caliber handgun and demanded his cash. After handing the men $150, the victim said they left.

Anyone with information about the case is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 372-STOP/7867.

— Karen Voyles

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