Two out of three of the Pit Bull puppies were returned to their owner after being stolen from a residence on Stock Island.
The owner said a neighbor found the puppies in a box near the intersection of Maloney Avenue and 4th Avenue on Stock Island. They were in good health and are now back with their mother.
The case is still under investigation and anyone with information about where the third puppy might be should call the Sheriff’s Office.
A Big Pine Key man was arrested last Thursday, charged with child cruelty.
According to Detective Rosa DiGiovanni, 47 year old Bruce Sonnenfeld forced a small child, from the time she was an infant until she was three years old, to sleep on the floor and, at one point, a stack of picture frames stacked near where she was sleeping fell on her, causing injury.
In addition, Sonnenfeld is accused of holding the small child around the waist and squeezing her so tightly she had bruising on her stomach and back.
Both Sonnenfeld’s relationship to the child, and the identity of the child are protected by Florida State statutes which preclude identifying the victims of child abuse.
Sheriff’s Deputy Freddy Rodriguez took a report last Thursday of three pit bull puppies stolen from a home on 12th Avenue, Stock Island. They were still with their mother at the time they were taken.
The owner said he was sleeping when the theft occurred. It appears someone pried open a door to gain access to his home.
They are described as “one black with a white under belly. The second puppy was brown with a white cross on his back. The third puppy was white with two (2) brown spots covering his eyes.” If you have any information, or know someone who has recently acquired a dog fitting this description, please call the Sheriff’s Office at 292-7060. Detective Spenser Bryan has been assigned to investigate the case.
Callers who wish to remain anonymous can call Crime Stoppers of the Florida Keys at 1-800-346-TIPS. If a tip leads to an arrest, the caller would be eligible for a cash reward.
A Marathon man was arrested after expensive stolen truck wheels were found in his room.
Deputies took an initial report on June 7 about items being stolen from a storage shed at a home on Louisa Street in Marathon. Among the items stolen were four chrome Lexani brand truck wheels with tires still attached. The value of the wheels were $4,000.
On June 11, deputies responded to a home on 41st Street to a domestic dispute. 23 year old Sheldon Owen-Vargas was arrested for battering his pregnant girlfriend. He was also charged with trespassing because he’d been issued a trespass warning for the property in May. As deputies were investigating, Owens-Vargas told them there were four stolen truck wheels inside the apartment. He said he told them that because he was trying to get his girlfriend, who leases the apartment, arrested.
Inside the home, officers found four wheels matching the description of those stolen from Louisa Street. His girlfriend, who leases the apartment said she’d never seen them before, and said the room they were in was exclusively used by Owen-Vargas. Owen-Vargas told deputies the owner of the wheels called him after they’d been stolen and asked if he had them. He said he lied and said he didn’t have them. He denied being the one who actually stole the wheels, although he refused to cooperate with identifying the person who did.
Detective Nicholis Whiteman obtained information during the course of his investigation that Owen-Vargas intended to sell the tires to another man who was on his way to pick them up when Owen-Vargas was arrested. He faces charges of domestic battery on his pregnant girlfriend, trespassing and dealing in stolen property. The wheels will be returned to the owner.
Three young men were arrested early Monday after they allegedly beat and robbed a man on Lindahl Street in Marathon.
The victim told Deputy William Daniels he was walking behind the Walgreen’s drugstore in Marathon at 3 a.m. when three males started talking to him and walking with him. He said just before he got to Lindahl Street, the men attacked him. He said they punched him numerous times in the face, knocked him down and took his wallet with $20 inside.
Deputies Jean Gonzalez and Greg LaRochelle responded to assist. Several people fitting the victim’s description of his attacker were found nearby. The victim positively identified three of them as his attackers.
20 year old Gerry Pinson, 19 year old David Littleton and 16 year old Marvin Hernandez were all arrested. They were charged with battery and robbery and they were booked into jail. The victim was treated by paramedics for cuts and bruises.
A man wearing a black shirt over his head and carrying a knife attempted to rob the Stock Island Tom Thumb store early Monday.
The store clerk told Deputy Joe Cortner he was behind the counter at 2:20 a.m. when the suspect walked in and demanded money. The clerk put the money on the counter. When the suspect reached for it, the clerk grabbed him, pulled him over the counter and disarmed him. The suspect then fled from the store without getting anything.
The suspect was a white male who was wearing a blue long sleeve shirt, long blue jeans and a black shirt over his head. Detectives will be investigating.
Three Marathon men were arrested in connection with the theft of items from a residence on Bonito Drive in Marathon.
The crime took place April 11. The victim, who lives on the third floor of the residence, told Detective Trevor Wirth someone entered his room and took a tablet computer, a cashbox with $200 inside and a gold Tarpon pendant.
Investigations revealed the Tarpon pendant was pawned the day it was stolen at Joe’s Cash Flow Pawn Shop. Records showed it was pawned by 20 year old Brandon Mixon. Further investigation revealed Mixon, 25 year old Joseph Zecca and 22 year old Charles Hosendove were all involved in the theft of the items and shared in the proceeds of the theft.
Monday, all three men were booked into jail on outstanding warrants for their parts in the crime. All three were charged with grand theft. Mixon was additionally charged with giving false information when pawning the pendant and with dealing in stolen property.
In August, it will be one year since Monroe County Coalition (MCC) staff began making courtesy calls on businesses that sell alcohol. The visits to more than 94 retailers – including restaurants, bars, mini-marts and liquor stores – are meant to serve as a gentle yet serious reminder: Avoid selling alcohol to minors by requesting identification from anyone who looks 30 or younger.
“The coalition’s mission is to reduce underage drinking and DUIs in the Keys,” said Elizabeth McHenry, MCC program assistant in Key West. “We know from the compliance checks being conducted by local law enforcement that many retailers do not check IDs of younger customers, so the reminders are needed.” McHenry said as many as 39 Keys businesses have been cited for serving minors during one six-month period.
In May, three Upper Keys businesses were cited for selling to minors during a one-day routine compliance check by the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office. The sales clerks that have been cited face up to 60 days in jail, a $500 fine and at least $300 for court and investigative costs. The liquor license holders face a $1,000 fine and a seven-day suspension for a first offense. A third offense means revocation of the license.
“We have created a culture here in the Keys that encourages alcohol use and abuse,” said McHenry, a former bartender in Key West. She notes that the number of DUIs in Monroe County is three times the state average. “Our youth are the most vulnerable to this Keys-wide “Duval Crawl” cultural influence,” she explains. “The Coalition is working to change that and maybe even save some lives along the way.”
McHenry talks to alcohol retailers about their current ID policy, asks them to adopt an “ID everyone 30 or under policy,” and hands out window decals so businesses can post a “Must be 21” warning visible to customers.
This outreach effort to alcohol retailers is only part of MCC’s prevention program, said Executive Director Frank Sauer, who is planning to host town hall meetings for concerned citizens. “We are working with many organizations to help reach students and parents too; we are also collaborating with law enforcement and many other agencies that have contact with families and at-risk youth.”
“We’re not Prohibitionists,” said Sauer. “We are a diverse group of professionals from various disciplines and backgrounds, each with our own contribution, trying to reduce the often tragic consequences of underage alcohol and substance abuse in our community. We need community and parental support to make that happen.”
Sauer, a retired Key West Police Captain, believes the enforcement side of underage drinking must also come from parents and others in the community who might provide alcohol to minors. “It’s about changing the adult and parental mentality and taking responsibility for our youth and an environment tolerant of underage drinking.”
An argument over rent led one man to point a gun at another man. The man with the gun went to jail for aggravated assault.
When Deputy Kim Trullender arrived at Harbor Shores Trailer Park, Lot #13 at 5 p.m. Tuesday he found 19 year old Andrew Lewis on the scene. Lewis said his roommate owned him rent money. He said the two of them got into a fight. He said during the fight, he got his pistol from his room because he “feared for his life”.
His girlfriend told Deputy Trullender the men fought over rent. She said she saw Lewis point the gun at the roommate during the fight.
The victim also told Deputy Trullender that Lewis pointed the gun at him during a fight over rent.
The gun, a Glock .45 caliber handgun, was found and was taken as evidence. Lewis was arrested. He was booked into jail on charges of aggravated assault.
Two Miami residents are in jail on drug charges after a traffic stop in Marathon Saturday night.
Deputy Thomas Hill was on patrol at the 50 mile marker of the highway at 10 p.m. when he saw a red Nissan southbound with a headlight out. He pulled the vehicle over. Deputy Danielle Malone, who was in the area, stopped to back him up with her K-9 Tracer.
Deputy Hill discovered the driver, 18 year old Samantha Hernandez had no driver’s license. He asked her and the passenger, 26 year old Xavier Vergara, to exit the car so he could talk with them.
Deputy Malone walked Tracer around the car and he alerted to the presence of drugs inside. She began searching the car. She found a fake hair spray can with a false bottom. It was in a bag belonging to Hernandez. In the can she found Methamphetamine, cocaine, marijuana, LSD, and Hashish. She denied knowing who the can or the drugs belonged to.
Two bars of Xanax were also found in the center console and Vergara had marijuana and cocaine in his sock.
Both Hernandez and Vergara were arrested. Hernandez was charged with driving with no license. Both of them were charged with possessing multiple illegal substances and possession of drug paraphernalia. Vergara was also charged with allowing an unauthorized person to drive.