Writing’s on the pole
2:41 a.m. — Intersection of Main Street and Osprey Avenue. Graffiti. The owner of an auto-repair business flagged down a police officer on a bicycle to point out that a city-owned street lamp near his business had been tagged with graffiti. The man added that his video surveillance camera had caught the suspects in the act. The officer observed the graffiti was about waist level, circling the lamp. The letters “DOPA” had been written on the street lamp in several places. The officer added in his report that he found those letters in graffiti in other areas downtown. After talking with more business owners, the officer learned that all the graffiti had been sprayed or painted on between the late-night hours of Dec. 26 and early-morning hours of Dec. 27. The video surveillance tape provided by the auto shop owner did show a young man and a young woman, but no suspects had been arrested at the time of the report.
Read the note
6:19 a.m. — 1400 block of First Street. Unclassified Report. A police officer received a report that a 24-inch black backpack with an envelope attached to it had been discovered at the main entrance of a business, between the wall and a flower rack. No one at the business had any idea who owned the backpack. The officer picked it up for safekeeping.
Dinner’s on him
4:39 p.m. — 500 block of North Beneva Road. Petit Theft Shoplifting. The manager of a supermarket reported that a man had left the store with meat the man had not purchased. The man had ridden a bicycle to the north entrance of the store, grabbed a basket and entered the store. He went directly to the meat department, grabbed two packs of rib-eye steaks, left the store without passing any of the points of purchase, then climbed back on the bike and rode away. The manager told the officer he had spoken to the man but had not tried to stop him. The manager did provide the officer with a video surveillance tape and said he felt he could identify the man in a police lineup.
11:24 p.m. — Boulevard of the Arts. Missing Property. Two Canadian tourists came to the police department to report that they had lost their passports. They said they were staying at a Sarasota hotel near the bayfront between Dec. 19 and Dec. 21 and thought they had left their passports in the safe in their room. When they were preparing to return home and realized the passports were missing, they returned to the hotel. There, staff informed them the hotel did not have the passports, and they could not check the room they had stayed in because other guests were using it.
To the letter
1:30 a.m. — 2500 block of S. Tamiami Trail. Trespassing. The manager of a motel called officers to report that a 35-year-old female transient had come in asking for her mail. The manager had told her she did not have any mail there and needed to change her mailing address, because she no longer was allowed to get mail there. He also told the woman she no longer was allowed on the property. The officers warned the woman not to trespass on the property again.
‘Klepto’ credit card?
5:06 p.m. — 600 block of North Washington Boulevard. Civil Problem. A 50-year-old man reported that he had gone to a service station earlier in the day and purchased $20 worth of gas and had a receipt showing that amount. He added that he receives automatic texts from his credit-card company for purchases made on the card he had used. When the text came in about that gas purchase, it showed the amount as $56. The man said he had made no other purchases at the station and no one else had handled his credit card. The man showed an officer his phone with the $56 purchase amount. The officer spoke to an employee of the service station, who said she could not refund money without a manager present, and no manager would be in until the next morning. The man agreed to go back the next day to speak to the manager and try to resolve the issue.
Better the plate than the van
12:20 p.m. — 2900 block of Arlington Street. Petit Theft. A woman came into the police department to report that the license tag had been stolen off her van during the night, while the vehicle was parked in front of a motel. The police have no suspects in the case.