Since the East County Observer launched Cops Corner in August 1999, it has consistently been one of the most beloved features in the paper. It seems readers never tire of reading about what kind of mischief is happening in our community.
So, as we celebrate another year, we have compiled our favorite entries of 2012.
Asleep at the wheel
11:49 p.m. — 1400 block of Upper Manatee River Road. DUI. The deputy responded to a citizen complaint of a driver asleep behind the wheel at a red light. When the deputy arrived on scene, he pulled up behind the vehicle and the driver was still asleep. The light turned green without the driver moving. The deputy chirped his siren, and the vehicle moved through the light. The deputy conducted a traffic stop to check on the driver. Believing the driver was impaired; the deputy requested a traffic unit respond to conduct a DUI investigation. The driver was arrested. Towing responded to tow the vehicle from the scene.
Loud and clear
3:53 p.m. — 7300 block of Creekwood Boulevard. Suspicious incidents. While patrolling the area and driving north on Creekwood Boulevard, the responding deputy heard an audible tone going off, which sounded like a smoke detector. He turned around and located seven loss-prevention electronic-security devices still going off with red lights flashing in the median near the bushes. The devices had the black wires cut out. The deputy collected the items using gloves and drove to the nearby hardware store, where he made contact with loss prevention, because these devices are normally found on expensive electronics or tools. It seemed as if large items had probably just been stolen from somewhere. Store officials stated they do not use this style of security device. The deputy also checked with a pharmacy with negative results. The devices were stored in the trunk of his secured patrol car, even though they were still audible. At about 1:30 p.m. the following day, the devices were still going off, making a high-pitch alarm. The devices were placed into the bike barn, where fewer people would be disturbed by the sound.
4:17 p.m. — 8500 block of Cooper Crkee Boulevard. Petit Theft from Building. The complainant reported the suspect, an employee, stole alcohol from the discount liquor store. The complainant stated the suspect entered the store and retrieved the vodka from the sales floor. He then placed the item in his jacket or pants to conceal it. The suspect then left the store and got into a waiting vehicle. The incident was recorded on the store’s surveillance. The suspect has stolen from the store before. The vodka was valued at $30. The complainant was able to provide the vehicle tag, but the tag provided didn’t come back to a registered vehicle. The complainant wasn’t able to provide a description of the vehicle’s driver. The responding deputy advised the complainant to contact the Sheriff’s Office if the suspect returns to the store.
Reported March 8
6:11 p.m. — 400 block of 62nd Street East. Identity theft. The complainant stated her credit-card company contacted her and informed her there may be fraudulent charges on her card. The complainant received the statement from the company and saw there were charges she didn’t make. The statement showed the largest charge was made in Athens, Greece. She said she hasn’t left the country to make any purchases. The complainant also said she is still in possession of her credit card and has never lost control of it. The other two charges on the card were made in North Carolina.
11:33 p.m. — 14200 block of Mossy Oak Lane. Information only. The complainant reported his neighbor has been using his gate and entrance to access his neighbor’s property, which is adjacent to the complainant. The neighbor has no legal easement. The complainant advised the neighbor he wants him to stop using the gate and entrance. He also wants the neighbor to stop allowing his horses to travel freely upon the complainant’s property. The neighbor was advised of the two issues and agreed to take steps to establish his own entrance and gate and will install a fence to contain his horses.
Gas and dash
5:09 p.m. — 6400 block State Road 64 East. Petit theft — first offense. The suspect entered the convenience store and handed the clerk a Master Card to hold while he filled up his vehicle. After he was finished pumping $68 in gas, the suspect left without going back inside the store to complete the transaction. The clerk later attempted to run the card the suspect provided, but it came back declined.
Noon — 2900 block of Pope Road. Larceny Petit Theft First Offense. Unknown person(s) stole the victim’s registration decal from the license plate on the rear of his vehicle.
Noon — 2911 53rd Ave. E. Petit Theft. The defendant removed his footwear and placed footwear from a store on his feet. He then concealed his own footwear in his shirt and proceeded to exit the store. The defendant passed all points of sale before loss prevention confronted him outside the store. The defendant was escorted back inside. Loss prevention was able to recover the stolen items from the defendant.
Through the pipeline
7:27 p.m. — 800 block of Rye Road N.E. Trespass Warning. The responding officer drove through Rye Park earlier in the day and observed the suspect standing on the blue pipe that runs alongside the top of the Rye Bridge. The deputy advised the suspect and the other subjects that they weren’t allowed to be on the top. Due to the recent graffiti on the bridge and the ongoing calls the sheriff’s office receives about people jumping from the bridge, the deputy asked the suspect and the others to leave the park for the day. They all complied. When the deputy drove past the bridge later in the day, he noticed the suspect on the blue pipe again. This time, the deputy issued the suspect a trespass warning for Rye Park. The deputy stayed with the suspect until her mother arrived and took her home.
10:31 p.m. — 4200 block of Dover Drive E. Making Harassing Telephone Calls. The complainant reported she has received in excess of 60 calls to her cell phone since May 26. The calls all originated from the same number. Of the approximately 40 calls that she has answered, she has had a conversation with a muffled, soft childlike voice that she said she believes has asked for help. The calls that have gone to her voicemail that she has listened to only had background noise. She has repeatedly asked the caller to stop calling her number, which he or she has repeatedly ignored. Both phone numbers have the same Illinois area code. The complainant has saved several of the voicemails. The responding deputy attempted to call the phone number, but after two rings the call went to an automated message stating the voicemail had not been set up.
Don’t tase me, bro!
12:32 a.m. — 1400 block of Millbrook Circle. Battery. Two brothers got into an argument that turned physical, after one hit the other on his head and bit his left index finger. Deputies tasered both brothers after they refused to follow orders to separate. They arrested them both.
11:52 a.m. — 4000 block of Third Avenue East. Criminal Mischief. A man found his pool cage screen slashed and said that he is having problems with his next-door neighbors using his hose because their water is turned off.
10:08 a.m. — 5900 block of 28th Ave. Drive E. Petit Theft. A woman reported that she believes her neighbor stole her cat and said that her neighbor has told her that the cat in question belongs to him and that she stole it from him. She said that the cat lives outside and would be easy to steal. Deputies had no more information available about the neighbor.
Goose on the loose
11:05 a.m. — 17700 block of Roanwood Court. Petit Theft. A woman reported that a concrete goose was stolen from her yard.
Don’t look twice
12:21 p.m. — West Country Club Drive North and Oak Run Drive. Suspicious Incidents. A woman reported that a truck drove by her twice, which made her nervous.
5:02 p.m. — 5200 block of University Parkway. Petit Theft. A department-store, loss-prevention employee reported that a woman stole $196 worth of bras. The employee wasn’t able to apprehend the woman but wrote down the tag number of the vehicle in which she left.
Book ‘em, Dan-o
12:18 a.m. — 16300 block of Baycross Drive. Suspicious Incidents. While entering her home, a woman heard a loud noise and thought it was a sliding glass door. The woman left the house and returned with a security guard. The woman found two books on the floor in the study, which she didn’t remember being on the floor. There were no signs of forced entry and nothing was missing from the home. The woman was told to call the police again if she discovered items were missing.
10:38 p.m. — 2900 block of 53rd Avenue E. Petit Grand Theft Shoplifting. A man was observed cutting a GPS device off of a locked display rack at a department store. The man then hid the GPS device under his sweatshirt and walked past the cash register without paying. A group of store employees began walking toward him in the parking lot. The man then re-entered the store and dropped the GPS device, which is valued at $139. An employee detained the culprit until a deputy arrived.
5:51 p.m. — 900 block of N. Rye Road. Information Only. An anonymous caller found two abandoned newspaper racks on the side of the road. Two similar newspaper racks were reported stolen that morning. An officer attempted to retrieve fingerprints on both racks but could not. The racks will be analyzed.
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2 Spring Women's Conference with nat'l recording artist, Candy Pfeifer
6:30 pm - 9:30 pm
2 2nd annual Glow Run
7:00 pm - 10:00 pm
9 2nd annual DeBartolo Family Foundation All-In For ALS Casino Night
17 Women on Wheels 100
Author visits East County school
Students at Braden River Middle School learned about writing novels firsthand April 7, during a visit from novelist Lynda Mullaly Hunt.
Deputy visits women’s club
Manatee County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Alan Fifield lent his expertise on identity theft and cyber security to women in the Lakewood Ranch Women’s Club April 10.
Lakewood crowns students
Lakewood Ranch High School juniors Connor Jones and Kristen Mendez became school royalty March 31, after being named Mr. Mustang and Miss Lakewood Ranch.