Monday, July 24, 2006

Suspicious Vehicle

An email from Helen Harmon

"A neighbor reported a suspicious vehicle, at 13th Street and Idlewild Ave, around 3pm this afternoon. The vehicle was an older model, dark green sedan. The driver was a Caucasian male and the passenger was unidentified. The vehicle was driving slowly, up and down 13th street between Clifton and Idlewild, possibly “casing” homes in the area.

Most often, these folks are looking for an opportunity to steal items from an open or unlocked garage. Last week, near Idlewild and Flora Vista, a neighbor left her garage door open (for a brief time) and some tools were stolen. A few days prior, a vehicle break-in occurred at a different house on the same corner.

Please be sure to remove all valuables from your vehicles, make sure that nothing is left in plain sight and lock your vehicles at all times. If you have a vehicle alarm or Club, please use it. Be sure to lock all windows and doors during the night and when you are away from your house. If you have a house alarm, make sure you set it, even if you are only away for a short time.

As always, please don’t hesitate to report any suspicious activity to the Tampa Police Department by calling 231-6130. You never know, TPD may be looking for that same suspicious vehicle"


Anonymous said...

maybe they were looking for a new a neighborhood with open minded citizens.

Anonymous said...

As an open minded resident of SH, I'd just like to say that I own a firearm, and would not hesitate to shoot a burglar.

Anonymous said...

I think it was someone on the neighborhood watch group looking for homes to turn in to Code Enforcement.

Anonymous said...

I agree we need to be open-minded to ALL possibilities... including the possibility this was a 'casing drive'. I always appreciate a heads up on things to watch for.

CouldBeSherry said...

Ignorance never stopes people from offering an opinion. The neighborhood watch group has no time for code issues and never has. The gode commitdoes, which by the way is on suspension for two months, due to reorganization, does not drive and look for code issues. No need, Code does it AND enough neighborhs call in to keep everyone busy!

CouldBeSherry said...

Wow, you can tell it is early in the morning, and I do not have my contacts in,,,,,,please forgive the numerous typos in my previous post!

Greg said...

I have lived in the neighborhood for many years and I am used to potential buyers "casing" the neighborhood - the behavior differs from that noted in the post. If anyone is familar with this cross street - there are no houses that face 13th street - only driveways and garages - the houses face the east/west streets - Idlewild and Clifton. I don't know of many buyers that drive up and down a street and look at driveways and garages on the side of the property when considering buying a home in the neighborhood. I see those "casing" to buy sit in front of the houses on my street.

I have spoken to many people "casing" the neighborhood for a purchase - they often stop to ask a question if I am in the yard - they do not drive back and forth between 2 north/south streets that have no houses facing them.

Thanks for the crimewatch update.

ramer said...

My shed was recently broken into and several things taken (Ola and North Bay). I am with Greg. Potential buyers don't pace like the described.

Anonymous said...

What if they weren't casing the houses at all? What if they were friends of people who were previously casing the street, and in the process lost an item that they were carrying? Then they would have only been looking for a lost item while helping out a friend!

This would have all been cleared up if the person spotting the vehicle would have been a good samaritan and asked them if they needed help(who's casing who here? one party has a written confession!). Then we could get some additional clues to help solve this interesting mystery!

By the way, has anyone seen my lawn mower? He's about 5'8 and walks with a limp( so he alternates being between 5'8 and 5'6).

ufparrothead said...

I don't think that it is closed minded to give everyone a heads up about possible suspicious people in the neighborhood. One of my cars was broken into recently at night. Several people are not home during the day to see these activities so those who are do everyone a favor by letting the rest know what goes on during the day.
If that car turns out to be nothing, so be it. However, if that car ends up being involved in crimes against our neighbors, wouldn't we wish we had taken the time to give the heads-up? I know I would feel better about it.

Anonymous said...

I want to know if it is casing my home in Old Seminole Heights.
I also want to know if it is being used to case my home for code violations if I didn't give my $5 at church on Sunday or I didn't participate in the Spaghetti dinner.
Either way, I am appreciative.

BuddhaLite said...

Or they're looking for a pet.

Oh nos! That's not a brand new < insert high end car brand here >! It's obvious they're up to no good and want to steal from people.

Anonymous said...

Yea, thats probably right.
If its not a Mercedes, I am calling the cops on them.
An Acura, maybe.
It depends if the person driving has a Rolex on or not.

Anonymous said...

How was the vehicle suspicious? I often "case" the neighborhood looking for ideas on exterior paint colors, to see what grows well here so I can finish landscaping my yard, and just last week we were looking at garages that would be historically accurate in our neighborhood. I would have loved to have any of the homeowners come out so I could ask questions. Unfortunately the few I did see just stood glaring at me with hands on hips until i left the area. Instead of a friendly neighborhood everyone seemed very mistrusting, uptight and paranoid.

Anonymous said...

did you stop to ask questions or just sit idling on the corner glaring back. Sometimes the impression you give off creates the negative energy you get back. Be the first to walk up and say hello - if they put their hands on their hips and scowl then sleep easy -at least you tried.

bored housewives bitter revenge said...

it is a sad day for seminole heights when you cant drive through and appreciate the neighborhood without a bunch of bored housewives getting nervous. go to your bridge clubs and sewing circles and leave people alone.

Anonymous said...

You can pretty easily pick out the folks who have never had a break in. It will be interesting to see if they change their tune when it happens to them.

Anonymous said...

I hear Walgreens is having a sale on prozac this week and no prescription is needed. maybe some of you should get some. Talk about making a mountain out of a mole hill.

I for one appreciate the fact that my neighbors are looking out for each other. So maybe these "suspicious" people were in fact just out for a drive, looking for a lost pet, some landscape ideas, suggestions on garages or house colors. What harm does one inflict on anyone by keeping an eye out and letting the cops know? No one has ever been arrested for sight seeing, far as I know.

Someone suggested that they approach the suspicious vehicle and ask them if they are lost or have any questions. Wow, you must be a brave soul who never watches the news on tv. I'm sorry, but I don't have your hutzpah. With my luck, I'd approch that one car that belongs to some crazy serial killer who'd grab me right off the curb, stick me in a well, starve me, make me lose weight til my skin was way too big for me and then peel my skin off to make himself a "woman suit". (okay, maybe I watch a particular movie like one too many times)

My point is, be cool with the fact that you have neighbors who care. Quit bitchin', and admit it --- if your place was ever vandalized, you'd be the first one screaming about how the burglars robbed you blind and no one around your place noticed, or bothered to call the cops.

Oh, and by the way, when people come driving by my house slowly, if I'm outside, I always make it a point to make eye contact, smile and wave. And whenever I cruise other neighborhoods, I do the same, and have never had anyone in osh or sesh scowl at me for being friendly.

So there.

Anonymous said...

Wow, I am glad you straightened everyone out. We needed that. Thanks. I feel better now.

Oh, I have been arrested for sightseeing, due to some persons insecurities with themelf. Calling the cops on someone can 'cause' serious consequences out of nothing. Maybe your the person that called.

Bungalowlady said...

Last Saturday a P/u truck was broken into on the corner of Broad and Tenth. No one saw anything. Get this! They took the tools in the bed AND the gate to the bed! Guess they needed a truck bed gate. Woulda been nice if someone had noticed that!

Anonymous said...

The guy with the busted drive saw him but figured it was sweet revenge to let em rob the street blind since the whole street is after him.
Funny how those things kinda work themselves out.

Shawn-non-anonymous said...

Yeah! And the guy last week that called our 70+yo neighbor to tell her someone was in her garage, shame on him! Why, he should have minded his own business. Nosey sod. A quick scan of the obituaries the next week would have been more than sufficient.

Good for Miss Mary that the neighbor was nosey, did call her and warn her to lock her doors and not enter the garage. There was a criminal in there who stole some items.

And this happened all around the same time the strange car was driving slowly back and forth. Maybe nothing. Maybe something. But I'm glad to live where my neighbors look out for me. Heck, if I lived near a budha, I'd even call him, even though he'd likely be upset at me for interfering with the redistribution of wealth taking place in his garage.

Anonymous said...

Anon 3:55

First of all, I was NOT the one who called in. As a matter of fact, I don't even live anywhere near that location nor do I ever drive by there. So keep your silly accusations to yourself.

Secondly, in what country does someone actually get arrested for sightseeing? Wow, can you imagine if sightseeing were a jailable offense here in the Sunshine State? We'd make enough money off the fines alone to satisfy this country's national debt. And maybe even resolve the insurance crisis.

Tell the truth --- you got arrested for something else. Now it's my turn to make an accusation --- maybe you're the guy that was called on for "casing" that street! What's the matter, are vigilant neighbors keeping you from earning your living selling "acquired merchandise" to the local pawn shops?