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Michael Leon Messer is not expected to survive.
October 14, 2010|By Walter Pacheco, Orlando Sentinel

A sweet tooth and a desire for fast, flashy cars might cost an alleged Lakeland thief his life.

Lakeland police said Michael Leon Messer, the burglar accused of breaking into Wonder Hostess Thrift on Florida Avenue to steal pastries Wednesday, remains in grave condition today after getting shot in the head by the man whose Corvette he also tried to steal.

Officers do not expect 42-year-old Messer to survive.

Reports from the Lakeland Police Department show Messer and his girlfriend, Annette Mallory, 36, broke into the store at 10:30 p.m. and stole bread and pastries from the business.

After dumping the baked goods in their vehicle, they fixed their sights on a Corvette in the parking lot.

Police said Messer started to cut the vinyl roof of the sports car, triggering the vehicle's alarm.

The owner of the Corvette, Toney Anthony Price, walked out of the business and confronted the pastry thief with a firearm.

Both men struggled as Price tried to detain Messer. At some point, Price's handgun went off, striking Messer in the head.

Rescue crews transported Messer to Lakeland Regional Medical Center.

Investigators questioned Price, but did not arrest him.

Officers have not filed charges against Messer, Mallory or Price.



There is something that everyone should learn from this story. Never get close enough to a suspect to allow them the ability to engage in hand to hand combat with you if you are packing heat. Bullets will travel quite a distance so you don't need to be all up in a suspect's grill.
 

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After dumping the baked goods in their vehicle, they fixed their sights on a Corvette in the parking lot.

Police said Messer started to cut the vinyl roof of the sports car, triggering the vehicle's alarm.

Is a convertable roof made of vinyl?

The cops should have arrested the girlfriend.
 

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Is a convertable roof made of vinyl?

The cops should have arrested the girlfriend.
Not only is it not vinyl, but cutting it doesn't set off the alarm unless he had an aftermarket installation.
 

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All's well that ends well.

At least the right guy paid the price, and it appears the owner was trying to defend himself, so no charges should be brought against him.
 

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There is something that everyone should learn from this story. Never get close enough to a suspect to allow them the ability to engage in hand to hand combat with you if you are packing heat. Bullets will travel quite a distance so you don't need to be all up in a suspect's grill.
:thumbsup: Exactly.
 

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All's well that ends well.

At least the right guy paid the price, and it appears the owner was trying to defend himself, so no charges should be brought against him.
Depends on the state. In Texas we would give this guy a medal. In some states, he would be in jail because you can't defend property with life-threatening force.
 

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Hope the thief dies and his GF is arrested on theft and burglary. :thumbsup: Bravo to Price for protecting his assets and putting this thief where he belongs. :thumbsup:

:cheers:
 

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Michael Leon Messer is not expected to survive.
October 14, 2010|By Walter Pacheco, Orlando Sentinel

A sweet tooth and a desire for fast, flashy cars might cost an alleged Lakeland thief his life.

Lakeland police said Michael Leon Messer, the burglar accused of breaking into Wonder Hostess Thrift on Florida Avenue to steal pastries Wednesday, remains in grave condition today after getting shot in the head by the man whose Corvette he also tried to steal.

Officers do not expect 42-year-old Messer to survive.

Reports from the Lakeland Police Department show Messer and his girlfriend, Annette Mallory, 36, broke into the store at 10:30 p.m. and stole bread and pastries from the business.

After dumping the baked goods in their vehicle, they fixed their sights on a Corvette in the parking lot.

Police said Messer started to cut the vinyl roof of the sports car, triggering the vehicle's alarm.

The owner of the Corvette, Toney Anthony Price, walked out of the business and confronted the pastry thief with a firearm.

Both men struggled as Price tried to detain Messer. At some point, Price's handgun went off, striking Messer in the head.

Rescue crews transported Messer to Lakeland Regional Medical Center.

Investigators questioned Price, but did not arrest him.

Officers have not filed charges against Messer, Mallory or Price.



There is something that everyone should learn from this story. Never get close enough to a suspect to allow them the ability to engage in hand to hand combat with you if you are packing heat. Bullets will travel quite a distance so you don't need to be all up in a suspect's grill.
I really wonder if there was any hand to hand at all, maybe he just shot the guy and is using that as an excuse. just my .02;)
 

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I really wonder if there was any hand to hand at all, maybe he just shot the guy and is using that as an excuse. just my .02;)
:agree:
That makes more sense than he wrestled with the thief at gun point. Either way......:thumbsup:
 

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In Florida you are allowed to stand your ground, anywhere.

There should be no charges in this case.

Girlfriend can be charged with murder/manslaughter because someone died in the commision of a crime.

If you do bad things then bad things happen.

Sad story over a few donuts.
 

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In Florida you are allowed to stand your ground, anywhere.

There should be no charges in this case.

Girlfriend can be charged with murder/manslaughter because someone died in the commision of a crime.

If you do bad things then bad things happen.

Sad story over a few donuts.
err, I think it was about the attempt to steal the Corvette :lookinup: other wise he probably would have gotten away :surprised
 

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I bet the alarm went off when he cut the roof and then unlocked the door from the inside by reaching through the cut hole.
My old C4's had to be unlocked using the key.
There is a switch attached to the key cylinder that disarms the alarm. My '86 had both switches go out. Luckily the passenger side went out a month after I replaced the driver's side and not at the same time.
 

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Hope the thief dies and his GF is arrested on theft and burglary. :thumbsup: Bravo to Price for protecting his assets and putting this thief where he belongs. :thumbsup:

:cheers:
that was about my take also!
If a guy had knocked on the business door , asking for food,and he looked like he was not doing well financially, and ( politely asked for FOOD) and it was my business Id have given him an arm load for free, but breaking into a business and cutting the roof on a corvette puts this thieving bozzo in a totally different category
 

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Good thing this wasn't Minnesota, the shooter would be in jail for trying to make a citizen's arrest. :laughing:
 

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Good thing this wasn't Minnesota, the shooter would be in jail for trying to make a citizen's arrest. :laughing:
:laughing:

What an idiot, the guy got what was coming to him.
 

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....what a waste of a human life.....he crossed the line from
petty theft to grand larceny....it seems as though me must
have had a criminal back ground to go after the vette, GREED
it will get you every time....:nuts:
 
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