1:13 a.m. — 1000 block of School Avenue. Abandoned 911 Call. A 911 operator answered a call but heard nothing at first. Then, she heard music before getting disconnected. Hopefully, the song wasn’t “Help,” by The Beatles.
6:53 p.m. — 1100 block of John Ringling Parkway. Battery. A dinner guest attacked a yacht club member during a club dinner. The guest was eating when he got into an argument with someone at another table. The club member got up from his own table and asked the guest to keep his voice down. The member then walked away. The guest ran after him and threw him up against a wall. The member has back pain and wants to press charges.
9:53 a.m. — 2300 block of Ringling Boulevard. Molesting a Coin-Operated Vending Machine. The property manager of a condo complex reported someone pried open a coin box on a washing machine in the laundry room. He believed about $25 in change was stolen. It will cost $600 to replace the coin box.
2:35 p.m. — 3800 block of South Tamiami Trail. Petit Theft Shoplifting. A greeting-card store employee caught a middle-aged woman stuffing four or five cards into her purse and walking out the door. She was driving a Lexus SUV but didn’t want to pay for $15 worth of cards. They were Hallmarks, so the thief cared enough to steal the very best.
5:30 p.m. — 13000 block of Tamiami Trail. Obtaining Merchandise with a False Receipt. The security guard at a discount store was watching a woman, who was acting suspiciously as she walked through the store. She approached the pet department and kept glancing at a receipt in her hand and looking around nervously. She picked up two dog food bags and a pet carrier and carefully examined the barcodes. The guard thought that was strange. The woman then carried all the merchandise to the customer-service counter and “returned” the items to receive $112 in cash. The guard stopped her, and she admitted to finding a dropped receipt in the parking lot.
Grab ’n’ go
7:02 p.m. — 1300 block of South Tamiami Trail. Theft. A woman was sitting at a table outside a coffee shop while using her laptop computer. A teenager leaned over the railing, grabbed the computer and ran. A witness chased him through a parking lot and grabbed the boy just as he was about to jump into a getaway car a friend was driving. The boy fought off the witness, but a second witness got the car’s license-plate number. About 10 minutes later, an officer pulled the car over several miles away. The witnesses arrived and identified the teens in the car as the thieves. The teens had stashed the laptop in a bush along their route. They told police where it was. Investigators also seized the boys’ cell phones, because they had already sent text messages seeking a buyer for the computer.
6:29 p.m. — 100 block of Main Street. Criminal Mischief and Petit Theft. A sheriff’s deputy was responding to a report of an intoxicated person when he received a report of a disturbance in the same area. He thought they might be related. He was right. The drunk man was lying on the ground with his pants half down. The victim had asked the man if he needed help, which enraged the man, for some reason. He began charging the victim, who dodged him. Unable to capture the victim, the drunk man turned to the victim’s bike. He grabbed it and threw it in some bushes, then rode away on it and, later, smashed it on the ground.
7:21 p.m. — 1600 block of Laurel Street. Juvenile Disturbance. The complainant called police to complain about six people traveling through his neighborhood, who were possibly selling drugs. There were four young women, one young man and one juvenile on a scooter, wearing a baseball cap backward on his head.
9:21 p.m. — Fruitville Road. Road Hazard. A sailboat was sitting in front of a boat business. It was too close to the road, because three feet of its boom was sticking out into traffic. It had a red flag on it, but police said the flag was difficult to see at night.