Florida Man Report – July 7

July 7 – Terrible Disguise Ruined Florida Man’s Cocaine Heist

Frank Phillip Trinkaus, a 38-year-old Florida man from St. Petersburg, planned to steal cocaine from a home in the North Midway district, but his poorly thought-out disguise caused him to be spotted by a neighbor who grew suspicious after seeing the blatantly fake wig-and-hat combination.

According to a news report published by the Tampa Bay Times, Trinkaus arrived at a home near 40th Street on a hot summer afternoon completely dressed in black; he was also wearing a blonde wig with long curly locks and a comically large hat, the kind you can get at Party City for Halloween. He used metal cutting tools to make a hole in the chain link fence, and then he tried to enter the home through an open window while using a walkie-talkie radio to communicate with a female getaway driver parked a block away.

A neighbor who witnessed the break-in recognized Trinkaus as someone who had previously visited the next-door property, thus highlighting the inefficacy of his disguise. After dialing 911, the neighbor confronted the burglar and chased him down the block until they almost ran into a patrol car from the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office. The deputies who made the arrest confiscated many burglary tools such as screwdrivers, a torch, bolt cutters, an expandable mirror and magnet, a headlamp, and the two-way radio they used to track down his 33-year-old accomplice.

When questioned, Trinkaus confessed that he targeted the North Midway home because he knew about drug dealers using it to stash cocaine. He was booked on two counts of burglary and trespassing while Hailey Lynn Soos, also of St. Petersburg, was charged with accessory.

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July 7 – Giant Roll of Toilet Paper Used to Promote Florida Man’s Business

Whenever you see marketing strategies that combine crude sarcasm with kitsch and innovation, there is a good chance a Florida man was involved. A good example in this regard was reported by NBC affiliate station WFLA during the days when widespread shortages of toilet paper were experienced across the United States.

Donald Ryan, a Florida man from Collier County, decided to make a public statement about the “COVID hoarder” phenomenon of the pandemic by crafting a giant roll of toilet paper that he hung between two palm trees at his home in Naples. As the owner of a small business dedicated to arts and crafts, Ryan saw an opportunity to address the ridiculous hoarding of toilet paper, baby wipes, paper towels, and napkins that many Americans got into during the pandemic, but he also thought this was a good opportunity to promote his business.

“Who Wood Wonder,” the name of Ryan’s business, was painted across the front of the toilet roll. Ryan’s home features gets extensively decorated for Easter and Christmas, so he already had pulleys in the palm trees to make the toilet roll installation easier. His idea was part of a WFLA news report about pandemic complications, and it was later featured by national media outlets such as NBC News, CNN, and Fox News.

The Sunshine State was hit hard by COVID hoarding. At Publix supermarkets along the Treasure Coast, fights broke out between shoppers trying to get their hands on the last toilet paper rolls. Once stores ran out of these items, an enterprising Florida man from Melbourne set up Amazon and eBay e-commerce stores to sell paper rolls he had stockpiled in the early days of the panic shopping phenomenon.