Police blotter blast – A look back

Deborah Lavery Powers

By Deborah Lavery Powers
May 6, 2020

Originally posted December 2012

Editor’s Note: Deborah Powers served two important roles with the Fernandina Observer. In the early days, she wrote the “Police Blotter Blast.” She moved on to write profiles of city employees that were well received. Her most significant contribution was preparing the Daily News. When Deb took over the Daily, it was a time-consuming manual operation. She worked hard to improve the layout, and the results were simply perfect. Deb never complained, but how excited she was when we switched from manual to automatic! Thank you, Deb, for the many hours you spent as a volunteer reporter and master of the Daily News.


Most Police Reports are made in the form of short notations on the Dispatch Log, but there ar times when longer narratives are needed. The following are highlights from some of the narratives on file in the City of Fernandina Beach Police Department through Thursday, December 27:

A car was stolen when it was left in the owner’s driveway – running – while he dashed into the house for less than five minutes. The owner later reported that the car had been found in the parking lot of a local health care facility. He declined to have the car processed for latent prints. He had “places to go.”

A young man attempted to gain access to at least three automobiles last week. All of the cars were locked. The suspect was recognized by Police through the victims’ description of him and his bicycle. He was located and arrested.

Santa Claus — an inflatable kind of guy sitting on an inflatable truck – was unlawfully removed from a front yard just before Christmas.

Two Visa gift cards – each worth $200 – were removed from a County employee’s desktop while she was out of the building for a few minutes. She told Police she had left her office door slightly ajar as she left and also reported that the public often has access to the area where her office is located. Fortunately, by the time Police arrived, she had already been in contact with her Visa company and found that the cards hadn’t been used. They were voided.

The chicken salad was priced at $2.63, but the defendant was incarcerated for trying to leave the grocery store without paying for it. She paid for all the items in her cart but hid the container of chicken salad in a jacket pocket. She has past history of retail theft.

A Heineken Lite was discovered — open and cold AND half gone — in the cup holder of a car. The driver was fined $75.

The pick up truck had a broken brake light . Police made a traffic stop because of this faulty equipment and made an interesting discovery when the driver reached into a storage space to retrieve the car’s registration. There, in plain view, was a plastic bag containing “a green leafy substance commonly known as marijuana.” An arrest was made. Two more bags of the “green leafy substance” were found in the truck, along with some hydrocodone tablets – but only one-third of the prescribed number of tablets were still in the bottle.

Two juveniles discovered that shooting off bottle rockets can cause a fire – because that is exactly what happened on the sand dunes one evening. The assistance of the Fire Department was needed to extinguish the fire. Fifty square feet of sea grass was burned.

A lady wandered away from her pocketbook — for less than five minutes — leaving it sitting on a outdoor bench downtown as she stepped away to talk to a friend. When she went back to the bench, her purse was still there, but her wallet wasn’t. Not a happy Christmas Eve event!

Another wallet was stolen during Christmas week, but this one was removed from the employees’ snack area of a retail store. The Suspect was identified as someone who came in through the back door of the store, shopped a bit, and then exited via the same back door after taking the wallet out of a purse hanging in the snack area. The Suspect then went next door to a restaurant, accompanied by a young female this time, and asked an employee to check one of the victim’s credit cards to be sure it had been activated. At the time, the employee thought the card belonged to the young woman.

An “on again, off again” girlfriend was accused of stealing $40 by her “on again, off again” boyfriend. The suspected theft and other possible charges are being investigated.

An individual, who was stopped for speeding in a 35-mph zone, was found to have “red watery bloodshot eyes,” a strong alcohol odor about her and a “very slow sluggish speech.” She also seemed unsteady on her feet when she got out of the car, and she failed the heel-toe walking test. She was given a blood alcohol test at our police station, and then transported to the Nassau County Jail.

Editor’s Note: After a career in adult education, where writing, course design and development were her “beat”, Deborah is now enjoying the world of full retirement.