Police Beat: Serial bike thefts and extortion

Lauren Fox, General Assignment Reporter

Serial Bike Thefts

In total, ten bikes and one skateboard have been stolen on the University of North Florida (UNF) campus this year. 

46-year-old Linwood Benner was arrested on March 7 behind Osprey Fountains while allegedly trying to cut a lock off a bicycle on a bike rack, according to a police report. 

The arrest is the only one made this year related to bike theft. There is no evidence that Benner is connected to the other thefts on campus, and more bikes have been stolen since his arrest.


After sending private photographs to someone they met on a dating app, a person on campus began receiving threats last Sunday saying that their photos would be leaked if they did not send the person they were messaging $2,000, stated a police report. 

The suspect allegedly threatened to share the photos with everyone connected to the victim’s social media account and their family if they did not send them money. 

The victim became nervous and sent $20 through Apple Pay to the person making the threats, said police. After the money was sent, the suspect allegedly requested more, which led the victim to contact the police. 

The victim blocked the suspect from their social media and claimed they were going to delete their social media accounts, said the report. 


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