The funniest and most puzzling police reports from Sarasota.
CAUGHT WITH HIS PANTS UP
12:56 p.m. — 500 block of North Beneva Road
Theft: An officer received a report about a shoplifting in progress at a department store. When the officer arrived, dispatchers informed him the suspect was wearing stolen merchandise and leaving the store. When the officer got out of his car, a man came out of the store, followed by two employees yelling “Stop!” and pointing. The officer instructed the man to stop and placed him in handcuffs without incident. The driver of a car parked in front of the store left the scene despite the officer’s commands to stop. A security employee at the store reported the suspect took two pairs of pants and two pairs of shorts into a fitting room but emerged with no items. The employee watched the suspect pay for a shirt and then leave the store. The officer discovered the suspect was wearing both pairs of pants and both pairs of shorts under the pants he wore into the store.
9:34 p.m. — 0 block of Mimosa Drive
Dispute: A woman said she was walking her dog in her neighborhood when a neighbor confronted her, accusing her of allowing her dog to aggravate other dogs in the area. The woman said she did not like the way the neighbor spoke to her, stating he was aggressive and rude. An officer spoke to the neighbor, who confirmed he was in an argument with the woman and confronted her about needing to control her dog. Both parties said they would work harder to control their dogs.
12:30 a.m. — 3000 block of North Washington Boulevard
Dispute: A man reported that he was stabbed in his left arm. He said he was at a Super Bowl party and his friend’s cousin got into a fight with another woman. He said he attempted to break up the fight and got stabbed in the process. The man said he did not think the stabbing was intentional and he did not want to press charges.
RED LIGHTS, RED FLAGS
9 a.m. — 2600 block of Coconut Bay Lane
Suspicion: A woman received a letter in the mail from an attorney group stating her driver’s license was in danger of being suspended if she did not pay a ticket for red light violations in Sarasota. The woman said she got nervous, but when she looked at one of the dates listed, she realized she did not live in Sarasota County at the time. An officer looked at the letter, which did not include pictures or locations. The case numbers did not match other case numbers in the area. When the officer looked up the attorney’s office, he saw articles describing the operation as a scam.
OUT OF BOUNDS
1:06 p.m. — 1300 block of Oak Park Avenue
Dispute: A man complained about a sports team employee driving a golf cart down his street too quickly. The man told the employee he could not drive down the street and asked him to go around. The man said this is an ongoing issue and said the employee swore at him. The man was worried about the golf cart creating a traffic hazard. An officer told the man the street is public property and vehicles can drive down it. A manager at the nearby sports arena said this is an ongoing issue with the man for years. The manager said the man has threatened employees in the past. The manager said he would instruct his employees to avoid any additional conflict.
CUTTING THE POWER
12:54 a.m. — 3900 block of South Tamiami Trail
Burglary structure: An owner of a jewelry store reported communications failure with his business alarm. After arriving on scene he found his building was the only one without power and called police to help him check the building. Upon inspection police found nothing and left. An hour later, the owner called back to report he checked his video equipment and found two males had cut the locks of two electrical boxes at the rear of the building, turned off the power and secured the boxes with their own locks. Both men entered from a neighboring property with what appeared to be locksmithing tools. Another man was spotted nearby serving as lookout. After the scene was processed, power was restored to the building and new locks were installed.
CRASHING THE PARTY
1:39 a.m. — 5000 block of North Tamiami Trail
Trespass: An employee at a hotel reported a group of guests causing a disturbance. The employee said the guests were being loud in their room. The employee said she received multiple calls from other guests about the noise and gave the guests multiple warnings about keeping down the volume. The employee asked officers to remove the guests from the room. The officers made contact with the woman whose name was on the room. The officers said it appeared there was a large party inside the room. The group left the property when asked.
8 p.m. — 100 block of Barlow Avenue
Property damage: A woman discovered a brown sticky substance on her car’s trunk that appeared to be damaging the paint. The substance appeared to be a mixture of soda and a soapy substance. The woman suspected her neighbor might be responsible, because she parked her car in a guest spot he normally uses. The police were unable to make contact with the neighbor or anyone who might have witnessed the incident.
10:09 a.m. — 3700 block of North Tamiami Trail
Dispute: A store employee said a customer came in looking for her order of balloons. When the customer found out the balloons were not ready, she got in an argument with the employee. The employee said the customer spat at him as she walked out of the store. The customer left the area before officers arrived.
12:19 p.m. — 1100 block of Villagio Circle
Dispute: A man said the people living above him have parties and play loud music. The man said he works nights and is unable to sleep because of all the noise. While in the man’s apartment, an officer heard a faint thumping sound, but he did not hear music or voices. The man pointed out the noise and said that was what he heard through the night and in the morning. The officer met with the upstairs neighbor. An officer saw a small TV and no music or signs of a party in the apartment. The man was with his wife and an adult guest. The officer noticed that people walking through the apartment caused an echoing noise. The officer determined the thumping noise were from people walking around. The neighbor said the man had reported the same issue to the police many times, and he tried to respect the man’s concerns by walking barefoot and keeping quiet. The officer told the man the neighbor was not doing anything wrong and the noises were from footsteps. The man said he would be moving out next week.
PUMP THE BRAKES
4:32 p.m. — 1000 block of North Tamiami Trail
Property damage: An employee at a gas station reported that a driver hit a concrete pole near one of the gas pumps. The driver said she had mistaken the gas pedal for the brake, which caused her to hit the pole. The front bumper of the driver’s car fell off after the collision, but the driver said she was not injured. The damage to the concrete pole was cosmetic.
2:45 a.m. — 1400 block of Main Street
Lost/found property: A man reported he lost his phone. The man said he met a woman at a bar and let her use his phone. He forgot the woman had his phone and left the area. The man called his phone to try to get her to return it to him. The woman said she would return to the area to give it back to him, but she never showed up. The woman said she would try to return it to him the next day. The man said he would keep the police department updated on whether the phone got returned.
BUMPS IN THE ROAD
1:57 p.m. — 1600 block of Ninth Street
Property damage: A man was in his garage when he heard a loud bang. He saw his neighbor’s car backing out of the driveway across the street. The man said the car clipped a tree as it backed out then ran over the three mailboxes in front of the property and caused them to fall over. The car also damaged a pipe, which caused water to leak into the roadway. The driver then left the area. Police made contact with the man’s neighbor, who denied recently driving her car. Police could see recent damage to the car parked in front of her house. The property manager was on the scene and had the mailboxes and water leak fixed.
4:20 p.m. — 400 block of Benjamin Franklin Drive
Dispute: A lifeguard at the beach reported a woman was swearing at families, yelling sexually explicit things and causing a disturbance. The lifeguard said he asked her to stop, and she refused. When she began yelling profanities at him, he asked her to leave the beach, but she refused again. A police officer made contact with the woman, who was sitting at the pavilion, and she yelled at the officer. The officer asked the woman to stop screaming profanities, and she complied. The officer asked her to leave the beach for the day because of the complaints she generated, and she agreed.
1:24 a.m. — 2000 block of Cocoanut Avenue
Dispute: A woman said she gave several items of clothing to another woman to wash. When the woman asked about getting the clothes back, the other woman was confrontational and said she would leave the clothes on the curb. The woman said she drove to the other woman’s house and found a garbage bag filled with clothes, but none of the items belonged to her. When officers told the woman the dispute was a civil matter and would have to be settled through the court system, the woman said she would consider the clothes gone and move on.
BED & BANISHED
4:02 p.m. — 3700 block of South School Avenue
Misc. officer: The president of a homeowners association said the organization discovered a resident in the neighborhood had listed the property on a vacation rental site, which was against community by-laws. The president asked a police officer to go to the home, knock on the door and identify the occupants of the unit. The officer told the president that the police could not knock on the door to identify the occupants unless there was suspicion that criminal activity was afoot. The officer said the issue was a civil matter, not one for law enforcement.
THROW A WRENCH
8:50 p.m. — 1500 block of Main Street
Property damage: A driver was entering a roundabout and said another vehicle did not yield, which caused the driver to have to hit the brakes to avoid crashing. The driver honked at the other vehicle, at which point the other motorist threw a socket wrench at the driver’s car, which hit near the driver-side door. The driver followed the other vehicle for several blocks before calling the police.
3 p.m. — 1000 block of Siesta Drive
Property damage: A man parked his car in a public park’s lot. About 30 minutes later, he noticed his car was smoking. When the man moved his car, he discovered he had accidentally parked over someone’s used charcoal from a grill. An unknown party had been grilling in the area and disposed of the burnt coals in the parking lot. The man said the coals were gray and blended in with the gravel in the parking lot. The coals were still hot and melted components under the man’s car, but the vehicle was still drivable. Officers were unable to locate the person or people who had used the grill.
LOCK THE GATES
5:21 p.m. — 3000 block of Maple Avenue
Dispute: A woman reported that she went to a house to look for her boyfriend and the homeowner forced her out of the front gate of the property. The homeowner said he wanted a restraining order against the woman and has told her in the past she is not welcome at the property. The homeowner said the woman entered the front gate of the property without permission and refused to leave when asked. The homeowner said the woman eventually left to call the police, and nothing physical happened. A neighbor who witnessed the incident also said nobody touched the woman. The woman left the area without notice while the officer was on the scene.
2:35 a.m. — 1400 block of Main Street
Dispute: An officer responded to a report regarding a fight outside a bar. The officer made contact with a man involved, who was confused as to why the officer was there. The man said he and a friend were walking down the street when a stranger walked up to them and became very aggressive. The man said he tried to walk away but the stranger kept yelling at them and getting in their faces. The officer made contact with the stranger, who said the man and his friend approached him and began yelling at him for no reason. The stranger said the altercation was never physical and that he just wanted to go home. All parties left the area without further incident.