Some criminal cases are unusual, humorous or just outright odd. And there's no shortage of them on the Treasure Coast. This column will highlight cases that often leave observers shaking their heads.
Making false claims
In Fort Pierce, some people are really homeless. But then there are the fake homeless people.
A St. Lucie County deputy was talking with a man he knew to be homeless and the man complained about people pretending to be homeless while soliciting money.
As if on cue, a man walked toward the area and was holding up a sign that said, "Homeless Vet Please Help!," an arrest affidavit said.
The police officer asked the man a trick question: "Where do you live?" and his reply was that he lived in a trailer park.
One might wonder how a person can live in a trailer park and be homeless. The report also did not say whether the man had any evidence that he's a veteran.
The man ended up being arrested on charges of trespass and fraud.
If you thought your boss was bad...
A lot of people have complaints about their boss, such as they're too demanding, they're rude to employees, etc. But most complaints don't land the manager in jail.
In a case that did, employees discovered at a Port St. Lucie business that the manager was taking away small amounts of time from her employees by manipulating the time clock and fixing the situation so that she got paid for that time.
She ended up being paid $610 for time worked by employees.
The scheme unraveled as employees began complaining they were being underpaid. Company management investigated and discovered what the woman was doing.
If the woman ends up spending time in jail, she'll discover that she won't get paid any money for her time in jail.
A phony cop at a donut shop
There's the old joke about police officers being seen at donut shops. In Vero Beach it took a new twist, with a phony cop eating donuts at the shop.
The suspect would apparently go into a donut shop and demand free donuts and coffee, saying he's a federal Drug Enforcement Administration agent and a CIA agent. He also claimed to be working for "America's Most Wanted," and investigating crooked cops.
Employees of the shop became suspicious after he refused to provide identification. They asked him to leave and when he wouldn't, they called Vero Beach police. He kept insisting to police he was a DEA agent, but changed his story to say he worked for the Indian River County Sheriff's Office.
But when pressed, he couldn't provide the name of a supervisor or show a badge.
He ended up being arrested for impersonating a law enforcement officer and going to a place where he probably won't get free donuts.