A new low: Ripping off a Boy Scout, nonprofit groups

skinney@keynoter.comMarch 5, 2014 

Some Key West thieves hit new lows the past week.

One, police say, ripped off a Boy Scout. The other, they say, stole money from donation jars for nonprofits.

In the Boy Scout case, police are offering a $1,000 reward for the information leading to the arrest of a man who allegedly robbed the 12-year-old at gunpoint around 6:30 p.m. on Friday.

The youth, who was selling coupon books for discounts to businesses door to door, told police a man "pointed a black, semi-automatic gun at him and demanded money," according to police spokeswoman Alyson Crean.

The robber got away with $40 and the coupon books, which were found by detectives near where the crime reportedly happened, at 18th Terrace and Northside Drive in New Town.

Crean described the suspect as white, in his mid-20s, around 6 feet tall with short, black hair and light-colored eyes.

"His face was covered with a red and black bandana and he was wearing what the victim called a biker-styled vest over a dark red shirt and dark jeans. He may also have been wearing a class ring and a treasure coin around his neck," Crean said.

Anyone with information can call Detective Matthew Haley at 809-1000 or Crime Stoppers of the Florida Keys at (800) 346-TIPS. Callers could be eligible for a cash reward if the tip leads to an arrest.

In the other crime targeting local fundraising, on Feb. 26, police arrested William Ridge, 44, on felony theft charges after detectives identified him from surveillance footage.

Ridge is accused of taking a donation jar from the counter of Circle K on Kennedy Drive on Feb. 10. Two days later, the UPS Store in Keys Plaza off North Roosevelt Boulevard reported two stolen donation jars.

The collections were earmarked for the American Red Cross, Toys for Tots and 2-year-old Liam Reddy, who's battling cancer.

Ridge was picked up near the Key West seaport. He's being held at the Monroe County Detention Center on Stock Island.

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