Sanford Couple Arrested for Kidnapping, Robbery & Assault

Andrea Evelynn Diaz (21) of 1008 Forth St. Sanford along with her boyfriend Eric Soto Flores (28) of 520 North Ave. Sanford were both arrested for kidnapping, robbing and assaulting Avis Mazariegos-Daurte on 1/23/2017 at 1940 Kelly DR. Sanford.

Diaz was charged w/ conspiracy to commit robbery w/ a dangerous weapon, aid and abet robbery w/ a dangerous weapon and breaking and entering; she was held under $100,000 secured bond.

Flores was charged w/ robbery w/ a dangerous weapon, 2nd Degree kidnapping, assault w/ a deadly weapon inflicting serious injury and breaking and entering; he was held under $150,000 secured bond.

It's That Time Again For Scammers!

As it's always been said, "If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is!"  In recent years, thousands of people have lost millions of dollars and their personal information to tax scams and fake IRS communication. This post is a reminder that there are different scams affecting individuals, businesses, and tax professionals and what do if you if you spot a tax scam.

An aggressive and sophisticated phone scam targeting taxpayers, including recent immigrants, has been making the rounds throughout the country. Lee county residents have even fell victim to them. Callers claim to be employees of the IRS, but are not. These con artists can sound convincing when they call. They use fake names and bogus IRS identification badge numbers. They may know a lot about their targets, and they usually alter the caller ID to make it look like the IRS is calling.

Victims are told they owe money to the IRS and it must be paid promptly through a pre-loaded debit card or wire transfer. If the victim refuses to cooperate, they are then threatened with arrest, deportation or suspension of a business or driver’s license. In many cases, the caller becomes hostile and insulting. Or, victims may be told they have a refund due to try to trick them into sharing private information. If the phone isn't answered, the scammers often leave an “urgent” callback request.

REMEMBER: The IRS doesn't initiate contact with taxpayers by email, text messages or social media channels to request personal or financial information. In addition, IRS does not threaten taxpayers with lawsuits, imprisonment or other enforcement action. Being able to recognize these telltale signs of a phishing or tax scam could save you from becoming a victim.

If you know you don't owe taxes or have no reason to believe that you do, report the incident to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) at 1.800.366.4484 or at You can file a complaint using the FTC Complaint Assistant; choose “Other” and then “Impostor Scams".

Tramway 4th Graders Graduate from the G.R.E.A.T. Program!

Deputy Kindle had 115 4th grade students graduate from the G.R.E.A.T. program at Tramway Elementary School this morning!

G.R.E.A.T.  (Gang Resistance Education And Training) is six week, evidence-based and effective gang and violence prevention program built around school-based, law enforcement officer-instructed classroom curriculum. The program is intended as an immunization against delinquency, youth violence, and gang membership for children in the years immediately before the prime ages for introduction into gangs and delinquent behavior. It also walks the students through processes like decision making, conflict resolution, anger management, and the consequences of gangs and violence. It also builds their relationship and trust with law enforcement personnel.

Man & Woman Charged with Possession & Trafficking

On Monday February 13, 2017 Lee County Sheriff’s Office Narcotics agents arrested Tony Edward Parrish age 61 and Melissa Kelly age 41 both of 11 Tim Lane Sanford.

Parrish was charged with 1 count trafficking Opium by sell, 1 count of trafficking Opium by possession, 2 counts of felony maintaining a dwelling place for the storage and sales of illegal controlled substance, and 1 count of conspiring to sell and deliver a controlled substance namely (Opium).

Kelly was charged with 2 counts of possession with the intent to sell and deliver Opium, 2 counts of sell and deliver Opium, 1 count of sell and deliver a controlled substance (Opium) within 1000ft of a school, 2 counts of trafficking Opium by possession, 2 counts of trafficking Opium by sell, and 3 counts of felony maintaining a dwelling place for the storage and sales of illegal controlled substance.

Parrish was jailed under a $50,000.00 secured bond and Kelly was jailed under a $100,000.00 secured bond.

Crime Prevention Tips

As Spring approaches and people start using their yard tools again they become more accessible and attractive to thieves.  Garden sheds, outbuildings and garages are a popular target as they are likely to contain expensive items such as lawn mowers, hedge cutters, bikes and power tools.

As the weather starts to become warmer, people can become more complacent and it is important to stay on top of your home and outbuilding security, to help prevent you from being a victim of burglary.  As I’ve said before, “Society prepares the crime, the criminal commits it!”
My department has partnered with a private online network called Nextdoor.  Nextdoor is a FREE private social networking website for your neighborhood. Nextdoor makes it easy to connect with your neighbors and build stronger, safer, happier places to call home.  Below is an invite to Nextdoor! We invite you to become part of a movement to take our neighborhoods and communities back!

Below are suggestions from Lt. Dana Elliott with our Community Policing Unit to help you stay safe this Spring!
While working in the yard and spring-cleaning, residents are reminded to ensure their doors are locked.  In fact, even when you are in your residence, it is a good idea to lock your doors behind you.  Too many of us leave valuables like purses, wallets and car keys within easy reach just inside the front door.  Locking your doors prevents a thief from stepping inside long enough to grab your purse and disappear.
Another common scenario is one where a suspect will distract a homeowner with a false report of a suspicious person or damage in the back yard.  When the homeowner goes to the back of the property, a second suspect enters the house to steal keys, wallets or other belongings.  In this situation, remember to lock your front door or have another household member remain at the front door.

When warmer weather arrives, some residents may leave windows or doors open in order to cool the house.  Recognize that these may be common points of entry for would-be thieves.  Don’t leave your house open while you are away and take steps to minimize your vulnerability while you are at home.  Always store bicycles, sports equipment and tools behind locked doors at the end of day.  Try to view your own house and property the way a thief might see it; identify vulnerabilities and take steps to make things more secure.  This could include some motion lights, low shrubbery, etc.
Remember that various Social Media, like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, are a great way to stay in touch with friends and share ideas with a large community of people, but think twice about how you report your status.  Telling the whole Social Media community that you are away on vacation may not be a good idea.  Messages can be forwarded and shared with people you don’t know.  To someone who is looking for an opportunity to commit a crime, you have just extended an invitation that says your house and property are unguarded.  Remember to step back once in awhile and view your house, property and Facebook status the way a criminal might view it.  

Finally, do you have your valuables and their serial numbers documented?  Check with your insurance company first since some offer a free online service to document these.  If not, there are free apps to assist you. Know Your Stuff is a free online inventory service provided by the Insurance Information Institute. The site will walk you through configuring rooms in your home and listing the items each, complete with photos and receipts for documentation. Because the site walks you through everything you need to enter, you can be sure you're recording all of the right information. And, everything is stored online, so you have easy access to your home inventory from anywhere you have an Internet connection.

Even though an online service makes things easier than keeping an inventory on paper, it can still be frustrating to have to photograph all of your possessions and attach those photos one by one to your inventory. To simplify things, Know Your Stuff also has a free app for iPhone and Android phones. Using the app, you can modify or add to your online inventory—and easily add photos directly from your phone.

Every one of us has a role to play in neighborhood and community safety.  Take crime prevention seriously by safeguarding your property and employing good personal safety strategies.  Always report any activity that seems suspicious.  Anyone who sees a crime in progress should call 9-1-1.