This week in Cops Corner...
5:16 p.m. — Intersection of Hammock Lane and Roble Lane
Information. A 39-year-old Ormond Beach was advised by police to stop cutting tree branches near a local lake.
According to the incident report, the man was cutting off branches to make an opening for his kids to go fishing. Once he was told that he could not do that, since he was on city property, the man said wasn't aware of this and vowed not to cut anymore branches.
Police responded to the area after concerned citizen notified law enforcement of the activity, which she said had been going on for a few days.
Won't you be my neighbor
10:20 p.m. — First block of South St. Andrews Drive
Information. Two Ormond Beach residents called police after a random man appeared inside their home, greeting the men and telling them he was their new neighbor.
The residents, who were working on renovations to the house, said they didn't invite the man into the home and asked him to leave. The front door had been open since the residents working inside, and as soon as the man left, they locked it. The man got into his minivan and drove off quickly.
11:53 a.m. — 500 block of Collins Street
Grand theft. A 31-year-old Ormond Beach man is facing criminal charges after police found him to be in possession of a solar panel that had been stolen from a local park the month before.
In late January, a city employee was conducting a routine equipment inspection at the park when he noticed a solar panel was missing from a metal post. The employee explained to the officer that the solar panel powered a meter box that's responsible for monitoring water levels within the park, according to the police report. The solar panel was valued at approximately $5,000, and the employee was able to determine the theft occurred on Jan. 7. Fingerprints collected at the scene gave police a suspect.
A few weeks later, police received information that the suspect was squatting in a mobile home. Once at the home, officers saw a solar panel propped up on a table in the backyard.
The man initially told police that he found the solar panel in the woods, but when informed that his fingerprints were found at the scene of the crime, he changed his story to say he had been present when the panel was stolen. However, he denied any involvement in its removal.
Once officers confirmed the solar panel was indeed the one that was stolen from the city park, they collected it from the man's backyard.