Local Crime Watch: Feb 23

A sampling of police reports from February 15 to February 22, 2017 in Gulfport, St. Pete Beach and South Pasadena.

Sources: Pinellas County Crime Viewer, the Gulfport Police Department and the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office.

Gulfport Couple in Critical Condition After Crash

A Gulfport couple suffered critical injuries after a car accident Sunday, February 19 in Citrus County that left another man dead.

“Expected to survive,” Sgt. Steve Gaskins of the Florida Highway Patrol said Tuesday, February 21 of the victims, Pamela Wikberg, 56, and her husband Tony Wikberg, 62. An Internet search indicated that the couple lives at 5317 15th Ave. S. and operates Bay Mountain Candle Soap Company.

The accident occurred as the Wikbergs drove south on US 19 near West Arber Court in Homosassa about 8:10 p.m. and a northbound car crossed the median into their lane after being struck by another vehicle.

Troopers said the Wikbergs’ 2012 Nissan Altima collided with the passenger side of the 2004 Nissan Xterra SUV driven by Albert Funari Jr., 45, of Dunnellon, causing the Nissan to overturn. Funari was thrown from the car and died at the scene.

Matthew Canning, 29, of Inverness, who was driving a 2000 Jeep Cherokee north when he struck Funari’s car while changing lanes, was not injured, nor was his passenger. The Wikbergs were hospitalized in critical condition at Regional Medical Center Bayonet Point after the crash.

Woman Kidnaps Child to Force Testimony

A St. Petersburg woman is facing multiple charges after reportedly kidnapping another woman’s baby to force her to change her testimony in a prior case.

According to St. Petersburg Police, on the afternoon of Wednesday, February 15 Anita Johnson, 33, witnessed her neighbor, Lorraine Rainey, 35, try to run over her husband, Robert Rainey, at 4720 1st Avenue N. Robert Rainey was not injured.

The next morning Lorraine Rainey reportedly forced her way into Johnson’s home at 4720 1/2 1st Ave. N. and coerced her into driving to police headquarters to change her testimony.

Rainey stayed in the car with Johnson’s 2 1/2 month old daughter while Johnson went in the building. When Johnson came out, Rainey and baby were gone.
Police said Rainey went back with the baby to her neighborhood, where she was arrested shortly after. The baby was returned unharmed to Johnson.

Rainey faces charges of burglary, false imprisonment, tampering with a witness and kidnapping, police said.

Gulfport

A resident of the 2800 block of Skimmer Point Drive S. in Gulfport reported Thursday, February 9 that a fraudulent American Express credit card had been opened in her name in August 2016 and had become delinquent.

The bills were being sent to her former residence in Sarasota, which she had moved out of after a divorce.  She told Gulfport police she thought someone at the house was committing the fraud.

——

Gulfport Police said a man out on bail for previous charges reportedly hit an elderly man on the side of the head with a gun after a dispute over money, then fired several shots into the air and fled the scene.

The incident occurred Sunday, February 12 at a home on the 4900 block of 12th Avenue South.

The suspect was identified as Jeffery Stephens, who had been out on bond for a prior aggravated battery charge. Stephens had been wearing an electronic monitor, but cut it off.

Stephens faces additional charges of aggravated battery.

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A Gulfport resident told police he was walking home from the store westbound on Newton Avenue South and York Street South on Wednesday, February 15 when he was approached by a man who asked him if he wanted to party.

When he said no another male appeared, and the victim was struck in the face and his wallet was stolen. The suspects fled north on York Street S. on foot.

Battery

2/17, 9:50 a.m., 900 block of 58th St. S.

2/17, 7:30 p.m., 1800 block of 49th St. S.

Burglary – residence

2/18, 8:30 a.m., 5100 block of Newton Ave. S.

Burglary – structure

2/20, 9 a.m., 4600 block of 27th Ave. S.

Burglary – vehicle

2/15, 11:30 a.m., 5100 Block of 13th Ave. S.

2/17, 8 p.m., 5700 block of Tangerine Ave. S.

2/20, 8 a.m., 1900 block of 49th St. S.

Robbery – unarmed

2/15, 8:15 p.m., York St. and Newton Ave. S.

Stolen vehicle

2/15, 7:01 p.m., 15th Ave. S. and 62nd St. S.

Theft – grand

2/15, 7:23 p.m., 5100 block of Gulfport Blvd. S.

2/17, 10 a.m., 3200 block of 58th St. S.

Vandalism – criminal mischief

2/15, 8:05 p.m., 5100 block of Preston Ave. S.

2/17, 2:55 a.m., 5100 block of 13th Ave. S.

St. Pete Beach

Battery

2/16, 10:11 p.m., 500 block of Corey Ave.

2/17, 10:13 p.m. 6800 block of Gulf Blvd.

Battery – sexual

2/17, 11:30 p.m., address unavailable

Burglary – residence

2/16, 1:43 a.m., 600 block of 73rd Ave.

Stolen vehicle

2/16, 10 a.m., 500 block of 71st Ave.

Theft – petit

2/16, 8 a.m., 6800 block of Gulf Winds Dr.

2/17, 2:18 p.m., 100 block of 8th Ave.

Traffic accident

2/17, 7:05 a.m., 21st Ave. and Pass-A-Grille Way

Trespass

2/19, 2:45 a.m., 3800 block of Gulf Blvd.

Vandalism – criminal mischief

2/19, 2:30 a.m., 9500 block of Blind Pass Rd.

South Pasadena

Burglary – vehicle

2/15, 8 a.m., 7800 block of Sailboat Key Blvd.

Stolen vehicle

2/18, 11:51 a.m., 6800 block of Gulfport Blvd. S.

Trespass

2/19, 6:12 a.m., 6800 block of Gulfport Blvd. S.

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