Seize those opportunities
6:41 p.m. — 8200 block of South Tamiami Trail. Shoplifting. A 20-year-old man in a clothing store was spotted taking a shirt from the rack and stuffing it down his shorts. An employee approached him and said he saw what he did. The suspect was told that he would be given the opportunity to pay for the shirt to avoid being arrested. The suspect denied stealing the shirt. Mall security tracked the man down and called sheriff’s deputies, who took him away in handcuffs.
10:20 p.m. — 6500 block of Gateway Avenue. Grand Theft. A group of six dined at a restaurant and rang up a $414 bill, then left without paying. A restaurant employee knows one of the men, because he’s a regular customer. She tried to get the group to pay before leaving, but the regular customer told her she was crazy and that he’d be back later to pay the bill.
Roll out the welcome mat
12:52 a.m. — 8500 block of South Tamiami Trail. Arson. A man called the sheriff’s office to report a fire coming from the back of a business. The man saw someone riding away from the building on a mountain bike. A welcome mat was aflame, and the man grabbed some water and put the fire out. The fire damaged the business’ back door.
Stripped of her clothes
3 p.m. — 1700 block of Livingstone Street. Petit Theft. A woman said a friend of hers, who is a dancer at a Sarasota “gentlemen’s” club, stole some of her clothing. The two women had gotten into an argument several days before, and the victim told the friend to leave. On the day of the theft, the victim was next-door, when she noticed the friend walking out of her home with a handful of the victim’s clothes — a black shirt and a purple tank top. The friend has refused to return the clothes, which are valued at about $50.
Need to head to Midas
1:59 a.m. — 700 block of Treasure Boat Way. Suspicious Vehicle. A loud muffler woke the complainant. The man looked outside and saw an old Chevy truck drive by his neighbor’s home. The complainant thought he saw the driver shining a flashlight on the house. The truck made a U-turn and drove by the neighbor’s home again. The truck drove off and did not return.
Caught on tape
10:25 a.m. — 13000 block of Tamiami Trail. Retail Theft. A married couple was accused of theft at a discount store. After they tried to return a $39 blender, a store employee became suspicious. He watched the surveillance tape, which showed the couple walk into the store empty-handed, walk to the housewares department, pick up the blender and take it to the return counter. They told the counter worker that they were going to shop some more and come back in a few minutes for their refund. They filled their shopping cart, picked up the gift card with the $39 plus tax on it and paid for the items in the cart. A store security guard stopped the couple at the front door. Deputies arrived and arrested them.
Bad poker face
11 a.m. — 8200 block of South Tamiami Trail. Petit Theft. About an hour into a mall-restaurant employee’s shift, she told her manager that she was going home for the day. The manager said she could go as soon as he counted the money in her cash register. As he was counting the money, the employee ran out the back door. The manager quickly realized why. There was $160 missing from the cash drawer. The employee apparently forgot that her employer had her phone number, address, social security number, etc., on file.