Cops Corner of the Year 2023

Sometimes a crime is so ridiculous, it deserves a spotlight. Here are the top Cops Corner stories of 2023.

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Jan. 10

Grand theft Lego

3:30 p.m. — 1700 block of North State Street, Bunnell

Shoplifting, grand theft. A woman was caught trying to steal from a big box store on State Road 100 in Palm Coast — a doormat and seven boxes of Legos, totaling $1,137.32. 

A loss prevention officer saw the woman place the items in her cart and then walk through the aisles placing them in plastic shopping bags, according to her arrest report. 

When the woman went to exit the store, the loss prevention officer stopped her, but she ditched the cart and merchandise and ran for her car.

The officer described the vehicle to the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office, which was able to quickly find and pull over the woman's red SUV. 

When deputies questioned her, the woman admitted to trying to steal the items so she could resell them. The loss prevention officer identified the detained woman as the thief.

Inside her car, deputies found more Lego boxes, which she said she’d stolen from a different big box store. The woman also had two arrest warrants from two other counties for grand theft. She was taken into custody.

Feb. 22

A prank backfires

12:39 p.m. — 7100 block of State Road 100, Bunnell

Throwing and discharging a destructive device. A man was arrested for throwing a lit firecracker at a coworker as a prank.

The victim was eating his lunch on his tractor when, he said, his coworker pulled up behind him on another tractor and threw a large firecracker at him, according to the suspect's arrest report. 

The firecracker detonated on the ground next to the victim, causing a 4-inch burn on his leg and pain in his ear.

The victim said he had no idea why his coworker did it: The coworker drove off without speaking a word after throwing the firecracker.

When Flagler County Sheriff’s Office deputies spoke to the suspect, the man said he'd lit and thrown the firecracker at his coworker as a prank.

He was arrested and taken to the county jail.

April 1

Kicking and screaming

6:40 p.m. — 100 block of 16th Road, Palm Coast

Battery, bribery, disorderly intoxication. A Palm Coast woman was arrested after she allegedly, while drunk, hit a police officer, hit her husband and then tried to bribe the police officer with $100,000.

The adult temper tantrum took place at a resort, and a Sheriff’s Office deputy was called there when the woman began causing a scene, according to her arrest report. The deputy wrote in his report that the woman smelled of a “strong fruity odor” and was slurring her speech.

When the deputy and the woman’s husband tried to calm the woman, she instead “became increasingly uncooperative and started to scream/screech,” eventually lashing out and hitting both men and kicking the deputy, according to the deputy’s report.

After she was arrested, she was taken to the hospital. On the way, she allegedly told the deputy she could make him rich, offering $100,000 if he “cut her a break,” the report said.

Instead, she was charged with felony bribery.

May 29

Sunken treasure

11:17 a.m. — First block of Thomas Road, Palm Coast

Grand theft. A woman’s missing boat has been recovered just a day after it was reported missing: It was found submerged in the water behind her home.

The woman reported the boat stolen on May 28, just after 8 p.m. At the time, she told deputies that the 55-pound boat with a transom-mount trolling motor had last been seen the night before on her dock’s lift, according to an incident report.

The next day, the woman’s neighbor told her he found the boat submerged in the water by her dock, the report said. The woman told deputies that she believed the craft may have been sunk by wakes from boats passing by on the Intracoastal.

Aug. 18

Tapping in

6:16 p.m. — 200 block of South Ocean Shore Boulevard, the Flagler Pier in Flagler Beach

Trespass, petit theft, burglary. A homeless man was arrested when surveillance footage caught him jumping a fence to steal a cup of beer from a restaurant’s outside tap.

Another local homeless man spotted the suspect, who had been camping under the pier, jumping the barricade to the closed section of the pier, then hopping a fence into the restaurant’s outdoor seating area. The witness told the restaurant manager about the incident the next day, according to the suspect’s arrest report.

Surveillance footage showed the suspect pouring himself a cup of beer from the tap, then jumping the fence again to leave. A police officer arrested the suspect underneath the pier. 

The suspect admitted he'd stolen the beer but said he didn’t see why it was a big deal, since he'd had a bad week and intended to pay it back later.

Sept. 1

Idle hands

11:37 p.m. — 1000 block of Justice Lane, Bunnell

Obstructing extinguishment of fire. An inmate at the county jail is facing an additional felony charge after he made the jail's sprinkler system go off because he was bored.

The inmate, who was already facing three felony and two misdemeanor charges, admitted to standing on his bunk bed and reaching up to the sprinkler near the ceiling of the cell, according to his arrest report. Security camera footage showed that the sprinkler suddenly began spraying as the man reached up to the sprinkler.

Water began spreading out under the cell door and into a general recreational area, flooding the entire cell block, the report said. When a Sheriff’s Office deputy spoke to the man about why he touched the sprinkler, the man said he did it because he was bored.

Oct. 29

Tummy troubles

4:18 a.m. — 400 block of State Road A1A, Flagler Beach

Battery. A Flagler Beach homeless man said he “punched” a convenience store clerk with his stomach after she told him to leave the store, according to an arrest report. 

The man told a police officer that he had entered the convenience store to use the microwave to heat up a bowl of instant mac-and-cheese, according to his arrest report. He left the store, but reentered because his mac-and-cheese needed more water.

As he left the second time, security footage shows that the clerk told him he needed to leave the property. That was when the suspect began swearing at her and then shoved her backward twice using his stomach, the report said.

The suspect described what he did as “punching” her with his stomach, according to the report.

Nov. 25

Fishing for trouble

1:13 p.m. — 15700 block of State Road 100 near Crescent Lake, Bunnell

Possession of drug paraphernalia. A Palatka man was arrested after he trespassed onto a Sheriff’s Office corporal’s property to fish.

The corporal owns a property near Crescent Lake that he monitors with security cameras. When the cameras notified him at around 11:40 a.m. that a person was on the property, the corporal called the Sheriff’s Office to trespass the individual, according to an arrest report.

Two deputies approached the suspect, who was fishing along the bank of a canal, and told him he was on private property. The suspect said he thought it was state land. He began packing up his belongings, but one deputy noticed that the man was fidgety and had dilated pupils.

The suspect consented to a search of himself and his tacklebox, and deputies found a used, capped needle, 0.5 grams of synthetic cathinones and a burned metal spoon. They arrested the man.

Dec. 2

Caught wet-handed

8:09 a.m. — 1300 block of North Ocean Shore Boulevard, Flagler Beach

Trespass, theft of utilities. An Oregon man was arrested when police caught him using the outdoor shower at someone else's home.

The police department received a call early in the morning about an unknown man walking through people's property, according to the suspect's arrest report.

A police officer found the man as he was showering, and the homeowner told police that she did not know the man nor did she give him permission to use the outdoor shower. 

Once the utility bill comes in, the man will be charged for the amount of water he used, according to the report. 



Sierra Williams

Sierra Williams is a staff writer for the Palm Coast Observer covering a variety of topics, including government and crime. She graduated from the University of Central Florida in 2021 with her bachelor's degree in print/digital journalism and a minor in political science. Sierra moved to Palm Coast in September 2022 and is a Florida native from Brevard County.

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