Within one week Gulfport Police have responded to felony crimes on the same block of Upton Street. Both cases involved St. Petersburg residents.
Early Sunday afternoon (November 4), a woman visiting a friend to drop off a ladder left the keys in her unlocked 2008 Toyota Scion, whereupon it was stolen from the 2600 block of Upton Street.
Fast forward to midnight Sunday evening (November 11). Since the theft, St. Petersburg Police say the vehicle was used in a shooting. Gulfport Police Officer Chris Randazzo saw the stolen vehicle heading south on 49th Street at 9th Avenue South. As the police drew closer to the vehicle, the driver of the Scion “made evasive maneuvers and fled” according to Gulfport Detective Sergeant Tom Woodman. At that point, Officer Randazzo began pursuing the vehicle.
The pursuit ended at the 3400 block of Fairfield Avenue, where the driver and passenger fled on foot. A Pinellas County Sheriff’s K-9 Deputy apprehended the passenger, St. Petersburg resident Dnerius McCullough, 18, at 555 34th Street South.
He was hiding in a stack of tires behind a business.
The driver, only know at this point as “Lil Waynie”, remains at large. Officers also questioned the two female passengers but did not arrest them.
McCullough remains in jail at press time, facing three charges: violation of probation for failure to appear on felony charges, violation of probation for aggravated battery on a law enforcement officer, and resisting arrest with violence.
Wednesday afternoon (November 7) at about 12:30, Gulfport officers again responded to a call on the 2600 block of Upton Street, this time for a burglary in progress. A witness reported “two black males walking back and forth in front of the house,” Detective Sergeant Woodman said. “One knocked on the door and eventually both of them entered the front door, carrying no items. Within a few minutes they both exited the residence. One of the suspects was carrying a large black canvas bag, with carrying handles.”
It was, Detective Sergeant Woodman noted, large enough to hold a guitar or a rifle.
A second witness also saw the two males walking empty handed “but appeared very suspicious, because of the way they were walking around looking at the houses,” Woodman said. “He then saw them carrying a large black canvas bag with carrying handles. He described the subjects.”
The witness followed them on foot and observed them coming from behind an abandoned residence at the 4500 block of 25th Avenue South. When they returned, they carried no bag. He then observed them go behind a residence at the 2300 block of 46th Street South.
Officer Jon Davis knocked on the door of 2301 46th Street and spoke with St. Petersburg resident Lashaud Golden, 13, and Germaine Small, 16, (both St. Petersburg residents).
Officers brought both witnesses to the house at 46th Street, where both witnesses positively identified Golden and Small. Police then arrested them and charged both boys with armed burglary to a residence. Officers charged Small with grand theft of a firearm.
“Even if you don’t go into the residence armed, if you arm yourself within,” [once you’re inside], in the eyes of the law, it’s armed burglary, Detective Sergeant Woodman said.
Additionally, officers charged Golden with violation of probation for previous possession of marijuana charges. A judge had sentenced Golden to probation the day before, records indicate.
Police returned the Mossberg 12-gauge pump action shotgun with a pistol grip to its owner. The burglarized home had no signs of forced entry; police believe the door was left unlocked.
Detective Sergeant Woodman encourages Gulfport residents, once again, to secure their homes, vehicles and property.
“Serial numbers are important. It’s more difficult to retrieve your items if you do not have detailed item descriptions,” Detective Sergeant Woodman said.
Inventory reports are available at the Gulfport police station.