Last week on the Key, Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office deputies thought it was more than a little suspicious when they spied two young men on bicycles with no lights heading eastbound over the north Siesta bridge in the early-morning hours. Their suspicions were right — the deputies linked a 19-year-old and 13-year-old to three vehicle burglaries on Sandy Shore Avenue.
Not only were the two young men charged in connection with the burglaries, but also deputies found the 19-year-old carrying a .38-caliber Smith & Wesson revolver and five rounds of ammunition, which they later discovered had been stolen from a vehicle on Oxford Drive, just a short distance from where the other break-ins occurred.
According to Sheriff’s Office records, Deputy S.R. Lutz and Deputy K. Pfender charged Randy Quinn Duncan, 19, of 2123 Temple St., Sarasota, with possession of a firearm by a convicted felon/delinquent, possession of ammunition by a convicted felon/delinquent, armed burglary of a conveyance, grand theft of a firearm and carrying a concealed firearm, contributing to the delinquency of a minor and possession of narcotics paraphernalia.
The 13-year-old, according to the report, was charged with being a principal to armed burglary of a conveyance and principal to grand theft of a firearm. The boy was listed as a student at Brookside Middle School.
It was just after 3:30 a.m. Aug. 16, when the deputies spotted the young men on the bridge and decided to ask them to stop at the Tangier Terrace intersection. Pfender talked with the minor, while Lutz spoke with Duncan, whom Lutz noticed was carrying a green fabric bag. When Lutz asked about the bag’s contents, according to the report, Duncan told him it contained just his cigarettes and his iPod.
“Knowing that iPods are an item commonly taken during vehicle burglaries, I asked Duncan if he would mind showing me what was in his bag,” Lutz wrote. Duncan apparently didn’t hesitate. As he pulled items out of the bag, he placed them on the hood of Lutz’s patrol car. Duncan already had a pile of iPods when he pulled out a revolver in a holster, telling Lutz, “Oh, &%$#, I didn’t know that was in there.”
Lutz immediately handcuffed Duncan, the report said, and put him in the back of the patrol car.
During the subsequent investigation, Lutz and Pfender learned Duncan and the minor had ridden their bikes to Duncan’s girlfriend’s home on the Key. When they reached her house, they borrowed her canoe and navigated to a nearby canal; they left the canoe and began walking through the area looking for unlocked vehicles, according to the report.
Lutz was able to link the two young teens to the three vehicle burglaries on Sandy Shore Avenue after vehicle owner Robert Smallwood identified a digital media player, a pocketknife and a pair of ear buds recovered from Duncan’s green bag.
According to the report, Duncan had used the minor as a lookout while he committed the vehicle burglaries.
After a check on Duncan’s background showed two felony convictions, the report said, Lutz charged him with the firearms violations.
Finally, the report stated among all those other items from Duncan’s green bag, Lutz found a “one-hitter” pipe with cannabis residue. “The defendant also exhibited physical signs of cannabis consumption,” the report said, including glossy eyes and a green film on his tongue. That’s how Duncan ended up with the drug charge on top of everything else.
The total amount of bond Duncan racked up, according to my calculations, was $27,620.
Rumors and fact
A rumor flying around the island after those Aug. 16 arrests indicated 15 vehicles had been burglarized along Treasure Boat Way. When I spoke with Sgt. Scott Osborne on Aug. 19, he said deputies were investigating whether any other burglaries were linked to the pair arrested Wednesday morning.
As of late last week, according to Sheriff’s Office records, no other incidents had been reported.
Those were the days
Last week when I interviewed Tim Seibert, the architect who designed the historic Siesta Beach Pavilion, he talked about how much times really had changed. The cost of the pavilion when it was constructed in 1958, he said, was $50,100.
“There’s been a bit of inflation since then,” he dryly added.
He also wanted to make sure the man responsible for the construction, O.B. Thompson, was credited.
“He was a very, very good builder,” Seibert said. “He did a fine job of (the pavilion).”
Seibert pointed out that in those days, no one had to deal with building permits.
“We sort of made up our own ideas (about what would work),” he said. “The buildings are still there.”
Siesta Key Massage, 5101 Ocean Blvd., has welcomed a new aesthetician, Irina Kouchnir.
After she closed her own business on University Parkway in April, Howard Da Silva hired Kouchnir for his salon in the Village. Her specialty, she said, is facial rejuvenation.
Although she doesn’t live on the Key now, she previously was a resident for about a year, when she was working in Tampa, she said.
“I would get up to see the beautiful mornings at the Gulf,” she said. “I’m lucky to be back on Siesta Key”
Kouchnir may be reached at 349-8140.