Crime

Fencing Operation in Orange Park Busted; Suspect at Large

Fencing Operation in Orange Park Busted; Suspect at Large

CLAY COUNTY, Fla. -- Stolen soap, detergent and toilet paper were the "hot" items that helped land one woman in jail and break-up what police are calling a fencing operation.

According to the Clay County Sheriff's Office, Nyota Z. McGriff, 33, and Dishawn D. Butler, 28, were behind the operation.

Detectives believe the suspects would give shoplifters a list of items to steal from area stores, then pay them a fraction of their retail value for them before turning around and selling them to someone else for a profit.

These types of operations are believed to happen year-round at major stores throughout the area, and the investigations go all the way to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.

McGriff's arrest report indicates she gave a list of merchandise to a shoplifter on Jan. 12.  The list included laundry detergent, soap, fabric cleaning spray, toilet paper and paper towels.

Update: Church Robbery Suspect Caught, Equipment Returned

Update: Church Robbery Suspect Caught, Equipment Returned

CLAY COUNTY, Fla. -- The pastor has long since forgiven the person who stole thousands of dollars worth of equipment from his church, but now that suspect will have to stand before a judge.

Nolan Ridge Baptist Church was victimized in late March, losing their music equipment.

Jason Chase has now been arrested in Panama City for the theft.

According to the Clay County Sheriff's Office, Chase is a drifter who moves from town to town to stay with family and friends.

At the time of the church incident, Chase was staying with his sister in Jacksonville.

The best news for the church isn't the arrest; it's the return of their equipment, all of it.

The sheriff's office said the church members are thrilled to have the gear back.

Update: 10 Arrested in Orange Park Clinic Bust

Update: 10 Arrested in Orange Park Clinic Bust

ORANGE PARK, Fla. -- Ten people have been arrested at the Total Medical Express clinic.

This was the "major pill mill of Clay County," said Clay County Sheriff Rick Beseler.

The business at 454 Blanding Blvd. was an unlicensed pain clinic, primarily giving out prescriptions for Oxycontin, police said. Investigators seized documents, drugs, and cash today.

An officer manager and nine patients were arrested at the clinic. Police expect more arrests in connection with the closure. Several documents, drugs, and cash also were seized. 

Neighbors at the scene said they've noticed 50 or 60 cars in the parking lot daily, mostly with out-of-state plates. In fact, the investigation began several weeks ago following neighbors' complaints, a statement from the Clay County Sheriff's Office said.

Possible 'Home Owner' Energy Audit Phone Scam

For well over a week now, a call comes in from 904-525-2895, a cell phone with a recording telling me about a free energy audit appointment I can set up and get $3,700 from a government program. I pressed one, as prompted, to ask a few questions about this free energy audit that was going to put $3,700 in my pocket (if I qualify).

State Attorney: Judge in McBride Case Kept State from Due Process

State Attorney: Judge in McBride Case Kept State from Due Process

GREEN COVE SPRINGS, Fla. -- State Attorney Angela Corey has attacked a judge's decision to spare the life of a Middleburg man who killed his ex-girlfriend and buried her in the backyard.

The State Attorney's office filed a notice of objection in the case against Kenneth McBride. He strangled Roberta Laws in 2009.

Jurors voted 8 to 4 to recommend the death penalty for McBride but Judge John Skinner went against the jury's recommendation and instead sentenced McBride to life in prison.

Corey argued that McBride was previously convicted of custodial sexual battery, a capital felony, and had been designated a sexual predator. 

CLICK HERE TO VIEW THE OBJECTION COREY'S OFFICE FILED

Laws' murder was "heinous atrocious and cruel," Corey furthered, and the crime was committed in a "cold, calculated, and premeditated manner."

Clay County Sheriff's Office Responded to a Possible Domestic Violence Related Homicide

Clay County Sheriff's Office Responded to a Possible Domestic Violence Related Homicide

The Clay County Sheriff's Office responded to a garage apartment located in the Green Cove Springs Lake Asbury neighborhood at 1am today after a resident reported a home invasion had occurred with injuries.  A woman was found at the home deceased and a suspect has been arrested. Detectives do not believe the incident was a home invasion (as initially reported by the suspect), but instead, a domestic violence related homicide.

JEA Warns Customers to Beware of Scams

JEA is warning its customers to beware of scams involving utility bill payments.

Recently, some JEA customers have been called, texted or visited in person, requesting a payment be made on a credit card number to avoid disconnection of services. JEA does not call its customers to make such requests.  Additionally, some JEA customers are being offered payment of their utility bill for up to half off the total amount due. The scam works like this – a customer is approached and told their bill will be paid in full if the customer gives an amount in cash. Unfortunately, the account is then paid with a stolen credit card or check. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.