DOCUMENT: Florida, Stupid, Crime

Cops: Suspect Swallowed Pair Of Stolen Necklaces

X-ray showed "large dark mass" near perp's stomach


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Swallowed Necklaces

DECEMBER 16--A burglary suspect swallowed a pair of necklaces stolen from a Florida residence, a layaway bid that was later foiled when he had to undergo an X-ray scan before being booked into a county jail.

Joseph Ramos, 21, was arrested last Wednesday after being pulled over for reckless driving. Cops subsequently discovered that Ramos was behind the wheel of a car that had been stolen during the December 10 burglary of a Safety Harbor home.

When Ramos was being processed into the Pinellas County lockup, jail personnel reviewing an X-ray photo (seen at right) spotted “a large dark mass near the suspect’s stomach area.” Upon further investigation, the object “was identified as necklaces that the suspect had swallowed prior to entering the jail.”

Ramos “admitted to swallowing two necklaces,” according to an arrest affidavit. He was then transported to a local hospital, where he underwent surgery to remove the jewelry from his stomach. The stolen goods were “later identified by the victim of the burglary,” an investigator noted.

Pictured in the adjacent mug shot, Ramos (who turned 21 today) was charged with felony burglary and tampering with physical evidence.

Sheriff’s representatives report that a RAD PRO SecurPass Whole Body X-Ray Scanner was installed six months ago at the Pinellas jail. Designed for “contraband detection,” the scanner can spot “metals, pills, plastics, drugs, and other unusually shaped items that may be concealed on the inmate’s person,” according to probers. (2 pages)