Update on Burglary at Vintage Vendors

Update on Burglary at Vintage Vendors

ARREST UPDATE

Click HERE for the original story.

Fernandina Beach, FL – On June 17th it was determined that the burglary case in St. John’s County was directly related to this incident, as the witnesses from Vintage Vendors positively identified photographs of the property stolen from St. Augustine as being the same property the suspect was attempting to sell in Fernandina Beach. The employees at the Vintage Vendors were also able to describe the suspect’s vehicle as an older model Dodge Durango with a Colorado tag.

A suspect, Todd Allen Young, was recently arrested while driving a Dodge Durango with a stolen tag in Richmond, Virginia for selling items related to the Vintage Vendors burglary case. Richmond Police executed two search warrants for his truck and a U-Haul trailer. In those vehicles were items related to several Virginia area burglaries as well as some items identified with a Fernandina Beach, FL address. The Richmond PD detectives contacted our agency and supplied photos of the stolen property and the owners of the property were able to identify 25 items as belonging to them and lost in the burglary of June 11th at Vintage Vendors.

Fernandina Beach Detectives traveled to Richmond and collected the items as evidence in this case. Additionally, blood evidence from the Vintage Vendors burglary resulted in a DNA hit that confirmed, at a minimum, that Todd Allen Young was present during this burglary. Additional charges of Burglary and Grand theft are pending. Young is a known habitual criminal in Colorado and has a previous arrest history which includes aggravated robbery, robbery, grand theft, weapons charges, drugs, dealing in stolen property, and escape.

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Federal Narcotics Arrest in Nassau County, Florida

Federal Narcotics Arrest in Nassau County, FloridaOn May 6, 2015, a narcotics operation by the Fernandina Beach Police Department, the Nassau County Sheriff’s Office, and the United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) resulted in the arrest of a Georgia man for distributing approximately three ounces of methamphetamine into Nassau County, Florida.

On two separate occasions Roland Johnson delivered methamphetamine to a confidential source working with law enforcement. The methamphetamine, which was determined to be the “ice” variety, weighed approximately three ounces. Johnson was subsequently charged federally for the distribution of over 50 grams of methamphetamine.

Johnson, forty-four years of age, was arrested at the Stateline Discount Store located in Hilliard, Florida. Law enforcement obtained information that Johnson would be at the store to meet with someone and surveillance was conducted which resulted in Johnson’s arrest without incident.

Johnson, pictured, is currently being detained in federal custody.

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Robbery Suspect Shot by Police after Pursuit

Robbery Suspect Shot by Police after PursuitFernandina Beach Police Press Release: (This article has been updated, please scroll down to read the new information.)

At about 10:41 AM, April 27, 2015, an individual attempted to walk out of the Amelia Island Walmart Store on South 14th Street without paying for a large flat screen television set. The man was approached, confronted and detained by a Walmart Loss Prevention employee. The man turned violent, produced a syringe and threatened to stab the Walmart employee. As the employee backed away the suspect fled the store with the television and entered the driver’s seat of a black truck. The suspect and vehicle description, including tag, were broadcast as an armed robbery in progress while the incident was still occurring.

Fernandina Beach Police Department officers responded to the area and observed the suspect vehicle attempting to leave the area in a reckless manner, fishtailing, weaving in and out of traffic, driving over concrete curbs and grass areas, before fleeing at high speeds. A vehicle pursuit ensued which led through the Loop Restaurant parking lot and then westbound on Bonnieview Road, which is a two-lane residential road posted at 30 MPH, which is currently closed to construction. The suspect barreled through two barricades, knocking the barricades out of the roadway. The suspect’s speed exceeded 80 MPH westbound on Bonnieview Road until the driver realized that the road was a dead-end into the saltmarsh.

The suspect made a U-turn and proceeded eastbound on Bonnieview Road, passing the first police vehicle and almost striking the opening door of the second police vehicle. The suspect attempted to stop or make another U-turn, but instead drove off the gravel roadway into a ditch. At this point officers verbally ordered the suspect to stop, but he refused verbal commands, refused to show his hands, and continued spinning the vehicle tires in an attempt to move the vehicle from the ditch.

During the course of this confrontation the suspect was shot by police and suffered a head wound. The offender was transported to Shands Hospital in Jacksonville and is listed in critical condition. The female passenger was incoherent at the scene and could provide little information about the suspect, the vehicle, or their recent activity. She complained of a shoulder injury as a result of the crash and was treated at Baptist Medical Center Nassau. She was later able to give investigators a statement, claiming that she and the suspect were on “a meth binge.”

Only one police officer fired any shots during this incident and the identity of that officer is not being released at this time. The Florida Department of Law Enforcement responded immediately to handle both the crime scene processing, as well as the investigation into the police use of force.

At 4:15 PM the identity of the suspect was still unknown. He remains in critical condition at Shands Hospital.

Update

Walmart Robbery Suspect a Violent Career Criminal

Walmart Robbery Suspect a Violent Career Criminal The man police say brazenly walked out of an island Walmart store yesterday morning and then resisted detention by the store Loss Prevention Officer and Assistant Store Manager has been identified as a violent career criminal from Brunswick, GA.

Randy Scott Lingelbach, 32 years of age, has been arrested more than twenty times and has been charged with at least sixty-nine criminal offenses, to include 11 drug violations, 9 retail thefts, 3 robbery counts, 3 burglary charges, assault, resisting arrest, criminal conspiracy, tampering with evidence, and many others. The passenger in the vehicle, which has now been reported as stolen to the Brunswick Police Department, has been identified as Laura Rebecca Harden, also of Brunswick, GA. At this time neither has been formally charged with any crime.

The video from several Walmart store cameras show the confrontation with the suspect in the parking lot and will be available to the media at the police station at 3:00 PM today.

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) is continuing to work the use of force investigation as an independent law enforcement agency, at our request and through an established Mutual Aid Agreement. The Fernandina Beach Police Department will work the armed robbery investigation at the Walmart store and subsequent criminal violations.

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Police Captain David Bishop Graduates from FBI in Quantico

Police Captain David Bishop Graduates from FBI in QuanticoFernandina Beach, FL – Police Captain David Bishop Graduates from Prestigious FBI National Academy in Quantico, VA

Among the two-hundred-twenty (220) law enforcement officers that graduated from the FBI National Academy Program at Quantico, Virginia on March 20th, Fernandina Beach Police Captain David Bishop became the first city officer to complete the program in more than a decade. The 259th Session of the National Academy consisted of men and women from across the United States, and also included members of law enforcement agencies from the District of Columbia, 24 international countries, six military organizations and five federal civilian organizations.

Internationally known for its academic excellence, the National Academy Program, held at the FBI Academy, offers 10 weeks of advanced operational, investigative, management, leadership and fitness training for selected officers having proven records as professionals in leadership roles within their agencies. On average, these officers have 19 years of law enforcement experience and usually return to their agencies to serve in executive-level positions.

Training for the program is provided by the FBI Academy instructional staff, Special Agents, and other staff members holding advanced degrees, many of whom are recognized internationally in their fields of expertise.

The graduating officers were represented by the class spokesperson, Joshua Lamb, Sergeant First Class with the Georgia Department of Public Safety, in Atlanta, Georgia. A total number of 48,118 graduates now represent the FBI National Academy since it began in July 1935. Of this number, approximately 16,683 are still active in law enforcement. FBI Director James Comey was the principal speaker at the ceremony.

Captain Bishop has served the City of Fernandina Beach Police Department since 1990. He was the department officer of the year in both 1993 and 2003. While at the FBI Academy he took a full educational load, in addition to the many group activities, and earned 17 college credits from the University of Virginia. He cites the many evening lectures and the powerful relationship opportunities as “impactful and beneficial,” and looks forward to applying these lessons learned to his routine duties now that he has completed this important training.

Captain Bishop also earned his “yellow brick” for successfully completing the Yellow Brick Road Physical Challenge.

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Arrest Made in Burglary of Atlantic Seafood

eric-toddFernandina Beach, FLThe Fernandina Beach Police Department has arrested an individual for the night time burglary of Atlantic Seafood, located at 10 Ash Street. The burglary occurred on February 17th and the forced entry was made by prying boards from the structure and destroying interior drywall. Eric Todd, a local resident, confessed to the felony crime, admitting to stealing $100.00 cash and two cases of beer.

Todd was also charged with felony vandalism after confessing to the damage at 8 Flags Antique Market, located at 602 Centre Street. Todd used a red brick to smash the glass pane of the front door, causing more than $1000.00 in damage.

2015 Fernandina Police Annual Awards Banquet

Officer of the Year Mark Ocepek and Police Chief Jim HurleyThe Fernandina Beach Police Department conducted its annual awards banquet at the Fernandina Beach Golf Club on Friday night, (January 30th), naming the 2014 Officer of the Year, Civilian Employee of the Year, Volunteer of the Year, and Community Service Award recipient.

Officer Mark Ocepek was recognized as the officer of the year, primarily for his good work during the course of the year as a valued member of the combined Nassau County Sheriff’s Office/Fernandina Beach Police Department SWAT team, where he also serves as a team medic.

The former member of the United States Navy also acts as a liaison for the police department during land-based operations involving the U.S. Navy. As a Reserve Police Officer he fills in when needed to prevent staffing shortages and to supplement special operations. Although working another full time job, Mark was credited with working more than ninety hours a month for the police department in 2014. In addition, he serves on the police department honor guard and participates as an agency firearms instructor.

Danny YoungInformation technology professional Danny Young was named the police department civilian employee of the year for his good work in addressing more than five-hundred IT issues within the agency. As technology becomes more and more integrated into traditional law enforcement equipment, protocols and procedures, the urgency of IT response and the technical proficiency required to maintain them is a constant challenge. During the past year Danny was called upon time after time to respond to the police station or to log in remotely to repair system failures or other issues, such as security, that affect the twenty-four hour a day operations of the police department.

While some of these services were related to maintenance or repair of a single machine, other projects were much more detailed, time consuming, and security sensitive.

Gary EversoleOnce again, one of our best shining examples of working smarter has been the use of our Police Auxiliary Corps. This group has been a true blessing to the City, providing competent traffic control and a variety of other duties at our many city events, while relieving sworn officers to focus on other concerns. They are seen at events all over the island, so much so that folks actually expect to see them everywhere. In fact, it is now common to receive event applications with PAC volunteers already inserted into the event planning by the event organizers.

In the past few years our Police Auxiliary Corps, which has about 50 active members, has worked hundreds of events, committing several thousand hours of volunteer time and effort to this community. This group is a tremendous asset and much of their recent success might be attributed to our original board of directors, who deserve a bit of public recognition: Steve Filkoff, John Harris, Don McFadyen, Charles Mitchell, Paul Booton, Mary Ruark, Bob Keller, Jack Dickison, and David Blacklock. This group is responsible for establishing the support organization that we have in place today.

During the past year we have formed the Fernandina Beach Police Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. The new “Police Foundation” sets the policy and controls for the Police Auxiliary Corps, the Police Chaplaincy program, the “S-35” Officer Assistance Program, the Shop with Cops program, and our new “Citizens Police Academy,” which we hope to offer next fall. The new Police Foundation board consists of Chair Harry Kegler, Vice Chair Jody Mackle, Secretary Wendy Langley, Treasurer Mack McAllister, and Directors Lavinia Williams, Judith Lane and Mike Mickler.

Most of our volunteers contribute at large-scale events, such as the many parades and festivals that we host in our City, and their effort is most appreciated. Some participate in almost every event held in the City. These members are truly extraordinary!

Although it is always difficult to select one individual from so many worthy volunteers, Gary Eversole was chosen as the 2014 Volunteer of the Year. Gary joined the group in 2012 and worked eight events that year. In 2013 he worked forty-nine events and in 2014 he worked thirty-four events. According to board members, Gary is a tireless volunteer, often working many extra hours without requiring a break. He also works the school traffic control detail every week, rain or shine, and often fills in when someone is needed.

School Resource Officer Al Smith and Jack HeardMr. Jack Heard of Oxley-Heard Funeral Home was selected as our Community Service Award recipient for his long and positive relationship with the City, the Fernandina Beach Police Department, and our individual officers. In 2014 Mr. Heard donated a 2003 Limited Edition Mercury Marauder to the police department, which has become an important component of our School Resource Officer program at the high school. The vehicle has taken on the “Pirate” persona and makes regular appearances around town and at sporting events.

Mr. Heard presented SRO Al Smith with a framed newspaper account of the vehicle and a one of a kind leather driving jacket that was designed for owners of the Mercury Marauder.

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Bomb Threat Extortions Hit Fernandina Businesses

Bomb Threat Extortions Hit Fernandina BusinessesPress release from the Fernandina Beach Police Department – Three unusual bomb threat calls were made to area businesses today, in each case the caller attempted to extort money from the business by having the business deliver money electronically via a Green Dot Card.

The first call was received by Walgreens on Sadler Road at 2:22 PM, the second call went to the Dollar Tree in Amelia Plaza at 2:35 PM and the third call was made to the Radio Shack in Amelia Plaza at 2:42 PM. In each instance the male caller was described as having a Middle Eastern accent. The caller threatened to detonate a bomb in the store if the manager did not load money onto a Green Dot Card within ten minutes.

Fernandina Beach Police Officers, assisted by Deputies from the Nassau County Sheriff’s Office, responded to each location and coordinated a search. No devices were found at any of the locations.

These incidents appear to be the tied to a series of bomb threat extortions that have been taking place nationwide since 2013. Most recently a business in Alachua County, Florida was targeted last week and in November stores in the Atlanta area were targeted.

While none of these calls have resulted in the detonation of any explosive devices, each instance is taken seriously until the store is determined to be otherwise safe.

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Juvenile Charged with Six Counts of Residential Burglary

Juvenile Charged with Six Counts of Residential BurglaryPress Release from the Fernandina Beach Police Department – The Fernandina Beach Police Department has charged a Jacksonville teen with six counts of residential burglary, five counts of grand theft, and three counts of vehicle burglary after a string of crimes over the past two weekends. At 2:41 AM on Saturday morning a neighbor watched as the offender and an accomplice drove with the lights out before backing their Kia into a driveway in the 1000 block of South Fletcher Avenue. The neighbor was immediately suspicious and called police.

The two offenders broke into the house in dynamic fashion, breaking the door jam and shattering glass from the door. They entered the house and then quickly fled the scene before crossing the street and attempting to break into a parked vehicle. A neighbor shouted at the pair and they then fled northbound in their own car. Officer Jorge Hernandez immediately pulled behind them and they fled westbound on Atlantic Boulevard at speeds over 70 MPH.

They eventually traveled down Centre Street and then turned southbound on Front Street, soon running out of options as they drove along the west side of the railroad tracks on rough gravel, eventually sliding off the dirt road into a ditch and then running from the vehicle on foot.

Officer Hernandez chased and caught one offender, Zachery David Howard, 12/12/96. The second offender remains at large, although detectives are actively working to make more arrests in this case.

Howard confessed to his involvement in this case and also confessed his involvement in five residential burglaries that all occurred in the 200 block of South Fletcher Avenue in the early morning hours of September 6, 2014. In those cases, more than $11,000.00 in loss was reported in the form of flat screen televisions, sound systems and other electronic devices. Howard and others also reportedly broke into a least two vehicles that night. Some of the proceeds from those burglaries were recovered after the events of this past weekend.

Howard was also charged with Fleeing and Eluding, and Resisting Arrest.

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Fernandina Police Accreditation Assessment

Fernandina Police Accreditation AssessmentThe following is a press release from the Fernandina Beach Police Department:

Accreditation team invites public comments concerning the Fernandina Beach Police Department

A team of assessors from the Commission for Florida Law Enforcement Accreditation (CFA) will arrive July 15, 2014 to examine all aspects of the Fernandina Beach Police Department’s policies and procedures, management, operations, and support services, Chief Jim Hurley announced today. The Fernandina Beach Police Department has to comply with approximately 260 standards in order to receive accredited status. Many of the standards are critical to life, health and safety issues.

As part of the on-site assessment, agency members and the general public are invited to offer comments to the assessment team. A copy of the standards is available through the Fernandina Beach Police Department’s Accreditation Manager, Captain Jim Norman at 310-3204 or online at: www.flaccreditation.org

For more information regarding CFA or for persons wishing to offer written comments about the Fernandina Beach Police Department’s ability to meet the standards of accreditation, please write: CFA, P.O. Box 1489, Tallahassee, Florida 32302, or email to info@flaccreditation.org.

Chief Hurley said the assessment team is composed of three law enforcement practitioners from similar agencies. The assessors will review written materials, interview individuals, and visit offices and other places where compliance can be witnessed. The CFA Assessment Team Leader is Commander Shelli Walters of the Altamont Springs Police Department. Other team members are being selected.

Once the Commission’s assessors complete their review of the agency, they report back to the full Commission, which will then decide if the agency is to receive accredited status.

The Fernandina Beach Police Department’s accreditation is for 3 years. Verification by the team that the Police Department meets the Commission’s standards is part of a voluntary process to gain or maintain accreditation, a highly prized recognition of law enforcement professional excellence, Chief Hurley said.

The Fernandina Beach Police Department has been accredited since 2005.

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Sailors Charged with Art Burlary in Fernandina

Sailors Charged with Art Burlary in FernandinaThe following is a press release we received from the Fernandina Beach Police Department:

Fernandina Beach, FL – The Fernandina Beach Police Department has charged two King’s Bay sailors with the May 6th burglary of the Island Art Association, wherein five pieces of art were stolen from the gallery after the offenders kicked in the back door to gain entry.

A break in the case occurred when a witness overheard one suspect bragging about kicking down the door and stealing the works of art. According to the witness, the offender said that (they) had been drinking earlier in the evening and further claimed that the art was currently hanging on his apartment wall. All five pieces of artwork have since been recovered by the Fernandina Beach Police Department and will be returned to the owners as soon as possible. At least one of the items was damaged “beyond repair.”

Detectives coordinated with agents from NCIS at King’s Bay in order to interview those involved and those with knowledge of the incident. Jonathan Ibrahim and Nathan Mendoza will be charged with one count of burglary, one count of grand theft, and one count of criminal mischief, and will also face disciplinary action by the United States Navy.

Ibrahim and Mendoza both confessed to the burglary, stating that they were intoxicated and walking to their parked vehicle when they decided to break into the gallery to steal artwork for their apartment. Ibrahim also offered an apology for his behavior to members of the Island Art Association on Facebook.

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2013 Fernandina Beach Police Volunteer of the Year

2013 Fernandina Beach Police Volunteer of the YearFernandina Beach, FL – Although protecting the public from harm, crime-solving, and the high-tech processing of crime scenes may be the stuff of popular television, in the real world we recognize that delivering quality police services must be accomplished within the constraints of annual budgets. Budget issues are always priority issues. In fact, the budget is our blueprint for how we deliver police services and each year we work toward keeping the budget flat by spending less or by identifying additional funding sources.

One shining example of working smarter is the Police Auxiliary Corps. This group of police department volunteers has been a true blessing to the City, providing certified and competent traffic control and a variety of other duties at our many city events. They are seen everywhere in their now familiar traffic vests, and now we expect to see them at every parade, musical event and festival. In fact, event organizers now request assistance from our PAC volunteers before they even submit their event applications.

In the past few years our Police Auxiliary Corps, which has about 50 active members, has worked hundreds of events, committing several thousand hours of volunteer time and effort to this community. They are a tremendous asset and are led by a very capable board of directors, which includes Steve Filkoff, John Harris, Don McFadyen, Mary Ruark, Charles Mitchell, Paul Booton, Bob Keller, Jack Dickison, and David Blacklock.

During the past year the PAC board became the Fernandina Beach Police Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. The new “Police Foundation” controls the PAC, the Police Chaplaincy Program, the “S-35” Officer Assistance Program, the Shop with Cops program, and our new “Citizens Police Academy,” which will be offered in the fall. They weigh in on event logistics, participate in after-action reports, purchase uniforms and much needed equipment, assist with training issues, and act as a “force multiplier” in many significant ways.

During the past several years the Police Auxiliary Corps volunteers have been providing traffic control at Southside Elementary School in the morning and the middle and high school every afternoon by reducing the traffic congestion at Citrona and Jasmine. They man these intersections every day, rain or shine, and they provide for a much safer environment for our children. Their efforts do not go unnoticed, as they are much appreciated by the students, teachers, parents and administrators.

Most of our volunteers contribute at large-scale events, such as the many parades and festivals that we host in our City, and their effort is most appreciated. Some participate in almost every event held in the City. They are truly extraordinary!

This year the police department is honoring one of our original members of our Police Auxiliary Board. This individual is such a frequent and fervent volunteer, he even has his own piece of police equipment named after him. “The Harris” is an orange, portable RADAR SPEED INDICATOR used to slow down traffic around our schools. It was purchased with confiscated funds after this volunteer convinced staff that it was necessary to assist with traffic control, especially during the sidewalk construction along Lime Street.

John Harris has been a vital member of our Police Auxiliary Corps. He has served as our Vice Commander for the past six years. He embodies the meaning of volunteerism, and he is our 2013 Volunteer of the Year.

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Fernandina Police Name 2013 Civilian Employee of the Year

Fernandina Police Name 2013 Civilian Employee of the YearFernandina Beach, FL – Although they perform a vital service to our community as critical support to our police officers on the street, the Fernandina Beach Police Department’s 2013 Civilian Employee of the Year was awarded to a Police Communications Officer. These officers seldom receive the recognition they deserve. They are usually the first person a citizen has contact with when they are requesting police services by telephone or in person at the police station. The Fernandina Beach Police Department stresses Customer Service as a core value and our dispatch staff does a great job making a first impression, often under difficult situations.

The Communications Officer has to be familiar with the geography of the City to determine if a police officer should be dispatched or if the call for service should be sent to the Sheriff’s Office. Our gerrymandered borders can be a nightmare for new employees! In addition, they sometimes have to calm people in distress, just so they can get enough information to get assistance to them. While remaining calm during an emergency may be a job requirement, it isn’t always easy to achieve.

Communications Officers have to multi-task, especially when tensions are high. They must obtain critical information on the telephone, while also monitoring the police radio and typing Mobile Data Terminal (MDT) messages to computers in the police cars. In fact, “Multi-tasking” is an understatement when describing the duties of the communications officer. In a nutshell, our Communications Officers are the life-line between our community and our police officers. Without them we could not provide the high level of police services our community enjoys.

Sean McCoy has been employed as a Communications Officer with the Fernandina Beach Police for over a decade. As the senior Communications Officer, Sean is often called upon to assist with verifying entries into the Florida Crime Information Center database, which must always be accomplished in word-perfect accuracy.

As the senior Communications Officer, Sean has earned his pick of work shifts. Recently when staffing levels were short, Sean volunteered to work midnight shift for an extended period of time so that other members would not be burdened with having to alter their child care schedules. In addition Sean has often come in on his day off to cover for a sick colleague or to supplement staffing on a busy night. Sean plays on his reputation as a “friendly grump.” He pretends to be gruff at times, but he is known as an employee that will never hesitate to help a citizen who calls the police department or an officer that needs information. His overall dedication to the City of Fernandina Beach is exemplary and he has been selected as the 2013 Civilian Employee of the Year.

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Fernandina Police Officer of the Year 2013

Fernandina Police Officer of the Year 2013Fernandina Beach, FL – Detective Christina “Tina” Smith was commended often during the past year for consistently outstanding police work and for her dedication to the police department and our community. As a result, she was selected as the Fernandina Beach Police Department 2013 Officer of the Year at a formal ceremony on January 31st at the Fernandina Beach Municipal Golf Course.

Chief Jim Hurley outlined some of her accomplishments to the crowded room and the highlights were impressive. Detective Smith was assigned to investigate a theft from the Nassau County Branch of the State Health Department. A suspect was identified in that case and was subsequently arrested. Further investigation revealed that the same suspect was likely responsible for unrelated criminal activity, and Detective Smith was eventually able to tie this person to more than $60,000.00 in funds that were embezzled over a period of two years after pouring over thousands of pages of bank and business records.

Detective Smith was also commended during in 2013 for her good work on a burglary investigation where a laptop, among other things, was stolen from the residence. She was able to secure a warrant, arrest the offender, and recover the laptop and other property. This offender had an extensive criminal record and was bold enough to enter an occupied residence to commit his crime.

Detective Smith was also commended for her good work in the arrest of a construction manager who systematically took brass valves, copper fittings, and scrap metal from a construction site with a total value of more than $30,000. The manager was able to cover his thefts because he could re-order parts and hide the purchases. Detective Smith methodically reviewed hundreds of photographs and sales records, visiting a number of businesses in Jacksonville and surrounding area and was able to build a solid case, secure a warrant, and arrest the suspect.

Detective Smith was also commended for her good work investigating a report of a vehicle stolen from the Greyfield Inn parking lot. By staying informed of criminal activity in the region she learned of a bank robbery in Glynn County, GA. She was able to tie the bank robber to our stolen vehicle and help Detectives in Georgia locate and arrest the offender, after processing a discarded Coke can for DNA and getting a hit from FDLE. She then interviewed the offender, obtaining a confession statement for the stolen car and charging the offender in Florida.

In addition, Detective Smith is often commended for her good works around the community. She regularly leads and participates in police department and community activities, such as the Special Olympics Torch Run, Shop with Cops, and the Montessori School Chili Cook-off. She routinely and unselfishly volunteers her personal time for events that benefit children.

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Arrest Made in Local Burglaries

Arrest Made in Local BurglariesFernandina Beach police officers responded to an alarm call at All Pro Automotive on February 2nd and found that someone had made entry into the building located at 1852 Sadler Road. Further investigation revealed that tools and other items had been taken from the business by an unknown offender.

A suspect was developed through investigative leads, and detectives were able to work closely with the St. Augustine Police Department and several law enforcement agencies in Georgia to determine the whereabouts of both the stolen property and the suspect. Investigators then traveled to Georgia and spoke to a subject being held on unrelated charges. The interview produced a confession statement from the All Pro burglary, as well as several other burglaries in the area.

The suspect, Christopher Wines, has been charged with four counts of burglary, one count of grand theft and one count of criminal mischief in this case.

Additional investigation determined that Wines had made several suspicious pawns while in the Fernandina Beach area. Detectives identified several pawned tools as being linked to burglaries in St. Augustine and Wines was also charged with two counts of Dealing in Stolen Property and two counts of False Verification of Ownership.

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Fernandina Police 2013 Community Service Award

Fernandina Police 2013 Community Service AwardAlthough primarily focused on traditional law enforcement topics, the police department is also responsible for problem solving a variety of other issues, such as energy waste and sustainability options. For several years we have been able to rely on competent assistance from a local community activist who understands how to get things done. He is a tremendous community resource and volunteer with a wide range of interests and passions.

He has been recognized for his preliminary work in bringing Facility-Dude to the City. This software program is designed for managing maintenance issues and should impact the bottom line, making the City more efficient overall.

Police department staff views him as another set of eyes, but also a community problem-solver. He takes a very positive approach, offering sound advice and practical solutions to a variety of issues, from traffic signs to environmental issues.

As a member of Turtle Watch, he has helped us often with issues related to beach lighting and other sea turtles concerns. We depend on him for informed and realistic opinions and solutions. For example, he recognized a problem when event spectators began parking on the west side of Tarpon, endangering the Gopher Tortoise. We now have a recognized and thriving Gopher Tortoise habitat at that location.

He worked with the police department to survey our facility for energy cost-savings opportunities and helped us get some projects completed that would save energy. He is now tracking Kilowatt usage at city facilities so that we can save energy and budget dollars throughout the City.

He served on a committee for two years that eventually won the City a Bronze Award as a Bike Friendly Community. Recently, he worked with City Staff to create and erect the new beach signs, which look great and have substantially reduced sign-clutter.

Len Kreger received the 2013 Community Service Award at the annual Fernandina Beach Police Department Awards Banquet

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