Cigarette thieves hit Lake Panasofkee Circle K

The Sumter County Sheriff’s Office is thanking residents for tips that recently led to identifying three suspects wanted in a large cigarette heist in Sumter County.

The Sumter County Sheriff’s Office is thanking residents for tips that recently led to identifying three suspects wanted in a large cigarette heist in Sumter County. The suspects’ names were not released on July 23. (PHOTOS: Sumter County Sheriff’s Office on June 23, 2019(

The Sumter County Sheriff’s Office is thanking residents for tips that recently led to identifying three suspects wanted in a large cigarette heist in Sumter County.

It was not immediately known if the suspects had anything to do with the suspects involved in two Citrus County cigarette heists on the same day, June 19.

The Sumter County Sheriff’s Office said that on June 19 at approximately 1:29 A.M, two black males and one black female entered the Circle K, located at 22 E-C 470, within Lake Panasoffkee, during which time the three worked in unison to steal more than 200 cartons of cigarettes.

The Sumter County Sheriff’s Office (SCSO) said that it appears that, during the incident, the black female distracted the store clerk to the restroom area, at which time the two black males entered behind the store counter and begin loading large trash bags with cartons of cigarettes.

The three were seen arriving together and leaving together from the business.

The suspect vehicle appeared to be a blue 2006-2010 model Hyundai Sonata, with damage present on the driver side of the vehicle,the SCSO said. The vehicle had aftermarket wheels. Surveillance still shots of the suspects in this case along with the actual suspect vehicle involved in this incident are pictured.

Two similar cigarette thefts also occurred on June 19 — following this incident — in Citrus County.

If you have any information regarding this incident or pertaining to the suspects’ identities, please contact Detective Brent Sargent of the Criminal Investigations Division at 352-793-2621 or to remain anonymous contact Crimeline 1-800-423-TIPS(8477). Please reference case number 3125.

Homosassa man holds off deputies, hides in secret compartment

A 30-year-old Homosassa man is in jail after holding off deputies for much of the day on Thursday.

A Homosassa man is in jail after holding off deputies for much of the day on Thursday at 4905 W. Cardinal St. in Homosassa. (Photo by Citrus County Sheriff’s Office (September 27, 2018)

A 30-year-old Homosassa man is in jail after holding off deputies for much of the day on Thursday.

Arrested was Brandon Hann, of 4905 W. Cardinal St. in Homosassa.

According to the Citrus County Sheriff’s Office, detectives with the Community Crimes United were looking for Hann in connection with several armed burglaries in the area.

They went to his home on Cardinal Street, and a woman inside the home first told deputies Hann was not there. However, she let detectives search inside the mobile home.   During the search, detectives found a hidden hole inside the floor of the bedroom closet.   The woman eventually told detectives that Hann was hiding inside the residence.

In the hours that followed, the CCSO said, detectives tried to calmly talk with Hann to get him to come out of the hidden compartment, but he refused.  The Sheriff’s Office’s K-9 unit was deployed, but was unable to find Hann because of the close confines of where he was hiding underneath the floor of the mobile home.   The CCSO SWAT and Crisis Negotiation teams were were sent to the scene.  Again, detectives tried to talk to Hann to gain a peaceful resolution, but he refused.

Meanwhile, patrol deputies shut down about a mile-and-a-half stretch of West Cardinal Street to traffic in the area.

After several unsuccessful attempts to get Hann to respond, SWAT Team members used CS tear gas to force Hann from the home.   Because Hann was wedged in the ventilation system underneath the home, he was not affected by the gas.

SWAT team members began removing pieces of the floor, and cutting out drywall to try and locate Hann.   Just before 7 p.m., Hann was discovered hiding inside a ventilation tube underneath the mobile home.  He was taken into custody without incident on several charges. including armed burglary, grand theft and possession of a firearm by convicted felon.   He was taken to the Citrus County Detection Center.

More charges are pending., the CCSO said.

 

Deputies look for burglary suspect

A man in a  hooded sweatshirt burglarized the Rainbow Discount Drugs at 10479 N Florida Ave. in Dunnellon

The Citrus County Sheriff’s Office is looking for a man in a  hooded sweatshirt who burglarized the Rainbow Discount Drugs in Dunnellon (August 24, 2018)

The Citrus County Sheriff’s Office is looking for a man in a  hooded sweatshirt who burglarized the Rainbow Discount Drugs in Dunnellon at 10479 N Florida Ave. just before 7 a.m. on Friday.

The suspect is a heavyset white male, 5’11”, 250 lbs., with a beard/mustache. He also has a tattoo on the front right of his right shin, possibly a phoenix or eagle.

The Sheriff’s Office said he targeted cash and pharmaceuticals. The suspect fled in the vehicle, possibly a black two-door Nissan. shown below. which is missing the front passenger hub cap. 

If you have any information on this case, please call Detective West at 352-341-7407 or you can remain anonymous by calling Crime Stoppers of Citrus County at 1-888-ANY-TIPS and be eligible for a cash reward. 

The suspect fled in the vehicle, possibly a black two-door Nissan (August 24, 2018)

Suspect in Homosassa home invasion returned here

A man wanted in connection with a home invasion of an elderly Homosassa man on Feb. 16 has been returned to Citrus County from Pasco County.

Josh Bernard

A man wanted in connection with a home invasion of an elderly Homosassa man on Feb. 16 has been returned to Citrus County from Pasco County.

The Citrus County Sheriff’s Office said today that on Friday, Feb. 16, just before midnight, Citrus County deputies responded to a home on West Berrigan Court in Homosassa involving a home invasion involving a shooting.

When deputies arrived on scene, the homeowner, Carmelo Marchese, 71 from Homosassa, told them the suspect, whom he did not know, Josh Bernard, 36 of Homosassa, was trying to break into his home.

Marchese told deputies his dog started barking at something outside. The homeowner said at that time he grabbed his gun and went to the front door. Bernard was outside the front door and forced his way through the threshold of the home. Marchese said he warned the suspect not to come inside his home, but Bernard entered anyway. Marchese said Bernard went for the gun he was holding, and said that’s when he was forced to shoot Bernard.

Deputies found Bernard in the living room with a gunshot wound to the chest. Nature Coast EMS transported Bernard to a hospital in Pasco County, where he was medically treated, released and arrested. Bernard confessed to all charges when he was interviewed by detectives.

Bernard was extradited back to Citrus County on Thursday, and was booked in the Citrus County detention facility. He is charged for Burglary with Battery, and Battery on a person over 65 with no bond.

Bernard has a history of burglary, the Sheriff’s Office said, and was just released from jail in January for similar charges.