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Vanilla Ice arrested for burglary and grand theft

Florida readers may remember the musical career of rapper Vanilla Ice; the man behind the huge 1990s hit "Ice, Ice, Baby." The performer went on to star in a hit reality television show called "The Vanilla Ice Project" in which he works with a team to purchase, restore and then sell South Florida homes. He is back in the news in recent days after he was arrested and charged with burglary and grand theft.

The performer's real name is Robert Van Winkle, and the recent arrest stems from actions taken at an abandoned home in Lantana. Neighbors describe the property as an eyesore, and have contacted the Health Department over concerns about the property's moldy pool and poor upkeep. The home is part of an estate, and when police received reports of potential squatters at the property, the estate manager was asked to look into the matter.

It was determined that multiple items were taken from the property, including furniture, a pool heater and a patio set. While investigating, police were approached by Van Winkle, who allegedly told them that he had purchased the property. He also stated that he had removed items from the property that were placed on the curb and were believed to be trash. At a later date, police obtained a search warrant for Van Winkle's residence, and located several of the items reported stolen inside the property.

As the case moves forward, Florida readers will likely learn more about the series of events that led to Van Winkle being arrested and charged with burglary and grand theft. The performer's representatives have asserted that the matter is based largely on misunderstandings, and has been blown far out of proportion. Regardless of the outcome, the media attention that the matter has garnered will surely help the ratings for Van Winkle's HGTV show, which is currently in its fourth season.

Source: sun-sentinel.com, "Neighbors: Vacant home Vanilla Ice is accused of burglarizing 'is an eyesore'", Kate Jacobson, Feb. 19, 2015

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