Friday, April 02, 2004

And Now Back to Our Regularly Scheduled Programming...

One-man crime wave hits island

"Prior to last week, Boca Grande was a place where doors were left unlocked without a second thought, and golf carts were never stolen, just borrowed for a few hours. That all changed over the course of a few days this past weekend as the island witnessed an almost unprecedented string of burglaries, thefts and a threatened sexual assault that they largely attributed to a male in his mid- to late-teens who apparently confused Spring Break with Spring Break-in.


In a break-in at a residence on Third Street, on the same date as the Boca Bay burglary, police said the suspect entered the occupied home while the owners were sleeping by cutting a screen and opening an unlocked window. Finding the liquor cabinet, the suspect casually obtained a glass in the kitchen and made himself a drink of "Tia Maria" with whipped cream. Nothing else in the house was taken or disturbed, and theft wasn't discovered by the occupants until the following morning. The suspect, however, overlooked a bottle of expensive cognac and a case of whiskey, police said.

"The kid obviously didn't need money," one police officer said. "He was after the one thing his money wouldn't buy him - booze."


Police said the suspect broke into the Boca Bay Pass Club twice over the weekend. Twelve bottles of liquor, totaling $438, were stolen from the club. Broken shards of the bottles were later found along Harbor Drive within Boca Bay. The take included a bottle of Chambord valued at $215 and a bottle of Moet et Chandon valued at $198.

At Hudson's Grocery on Saturday morning, the question was the same. "Were you hit?" Many of the customers said they were trying to track down their golf carts or knew someone who had awakened to find a golf cart missing. In some cases, residents found their golf cart gone, but replaced with another golf cart. One woman found her customized golf cart missing, with a modest rental cart in its place. "I think they were trading up," she said."
This is the island community I just got back from spending two weeks in February music directing a play. It's true, people all over the island leave their doors unlocked, golf carts are a favorite way of spinning around town, and the whole town generally shows an air of nonchalance and peacefulness. It's a shame some frat guy on Spring Break had to go and ruin it, and I hope the community doesn't change itself over this, but the antics of this young fellow are hilarious.

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