Local News

Crime briefs

Man accused of using someone else's debit card

SEBRING-A 33-year-old man, who is accused of using someone else's debit card last year, remained in Highlands County Jail Monday with no bail set.

Randy Drew Blanks, 12150 U.S. 98, Sebring, is charged with grand theft, fraud impersonation/using someone else's ID without consent and fraud/illegal use of credit cards.

Blanks reportedly used the card four times last April and made $539.28 worth of unauthorized transactions, a Highlands County Sheriff's Office report states. He reportedly obtained the pin number for the card from the victim's wallet, where it was kept to help him remember it, the report states.

While the victim made the complaint in April last year, the report adds, Blanks was booked in jail recently because he had left town.

Store surveillance videos showed Blanks reportedly using the card, the report adds.

Authorities nab 19-year-old with outstanding warrant

SEBRING-A 19-year-old, who authorities say had an active warrant for violation of probation, was arrested and charged Friday with possession and distribution of marijuana.

Ja'quan Quartez Wyheem Mathis, 733 Booker St., Sebring, remained in Highlands County Jail on no bail Monday.

A Highlands County Sheriff's deputy spotted Mathis standing near the driver's side of a vehicle in the area of Martin Luther King Boulevard and Lemon Avenue Friday night, a report states.

The deputy wrote in the report he knew Mathis had an active warrant and ran toward him, when he saw him drop a white-colored bag from his hand, which turned out to be marijuana, the report adds.

Another Lay's potato chips bag, located "within inches" of the other bag ,contained nine baggies that had marijuana, as well, for a total of 23.8 grams, the report adds.

Mathis was charged with possession and distribution of marijuana and possession and use of drug equipment.

Domestic argument ends with arrest, authorities say

SEBRING-A 25-year-old Sebring man is accused of aggravated battery against his wife, a Highlands County Sheriff's Office report adds.

During an argument, Joshua Cole Varnes reportedly pinned the victim on the bed, head-butted her twice and then prevented her from leaving their bedroom by shutting and locking the door, the report adds.

He also reportedly told her if she contacted authorities they would both leave in a body bag and he would confront officers with firearms, the report adds.

The victim got free after she told Varnes she needed to use the bathroom, the report adds.

Varnes was charged with kidnapping/false imprisonment and aggravated battery when an offender should have known the victim was pregnant.