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Cops Corner
Longboat Key Friday, Oct. 2, 2020 2 weeks ago

Longboat Key Cops Corner: A boat on its own

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Police reports from around Longboat Key.
by: Eric Garwood Managing Editor

Sept. 26

On its own

8:20 a.m., off island

Boating call: A resident called police to report what appeared to be a small boat adrift in Sarasota Bay, apparently with no one aboard. About two hours later, the same resident checked in again to report the craft had drifted into shoreline mangroves. Police ascertained through binoculars that no one was likely aboard or in danger. Word was left with the department’s marine unit to check it out, but the resident called again to say he had found the boat’s owner.

Lots of alarms

10:14 a.m., 1100 block of Gulf of Mexico Drive

Alarm: Multiple alarms were reported from a condominium community, resulting in a response from fire rescue and police units. Once on the scene, police units were released after a check of the residences.

No one there

12:33 p.m., 7200 block of Gulf of Mexico Drive

Juvenile call: An officer was sent to the Longboat Pass bridge on a report of group of youngsters jumping from the span. Upon the officer’s arrival, there were no youngsters around and no sign of people recently jumping into the water below.

Not a place to park

2:25 p.m., 6100 block of Gulf of Mexico Drive

Parking: The driver of a delivery van found parked in the bicycle lane was ticketed.  A check of the vehicle and the driver revealed no criminal connections or history.

Quickest ticket

3:26 p.m., 600 block of Broadway Street

Parking: An officer summoned to the neighborhood over a suspected parking violation arrived to find a fellow officer had already been there and issued a parking ticket.

Free to go

3:35 p.m., 6800 block of Gulf of Mexico Drive

Recovered stolen vehicle: An officer was alerted by the town’s license-plate recognition system that a stolen vehicle was driving north through the island. The vehicle was stopped and its driver searched, handcuffed and detained, during which time a pocket knife was found. Manatee County detectives were notified, and they arranged for the vehicle to be impounded. Manatee County detectives also reported the vehicle was likely sold to the unwitting driver with a fraudulent title. Eventually, the driver was allowed to gather his personal belongings from the vehicle and leave by alternate means. The car was taken to the Manatee County Sheriff's Office.  

Too late, too loud

8:36 p.m., 500 block of Jungle Queen Way

Noise: Police were called to a neighborhood to investigate lawn-equipment noise past the town’s allowed work hours. An officer found a man operating a backpack-style leaf blower. The man was told the town’s rules allow such noise between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday. The man agreed to pack up and leave. He was issued a verbal warning.

Putting together the pieces

10:52 p.m., 1500 block of Ken Thompson Parkway

Burglary investigation: A town police officer near the New Pass bridge responded to a nearby call of an alarm at a business. The officer met with a Sarasota city officer and together they determined a window had been pushed in and discovered a cash register on the floor. Police dog and air units failed to locate a suspect, though Longboat Key’s license-plate recognition system did provide clues for investigators to follow.

Sept. 27

Not a penalty

11:45 a.m., 2300 block of Harbor Oaks Drive

Noise: A resident called police complaining about leaf blower noise on the golf course at 8 a.m. The officer explained to the resident that the noise was allowed after 8 a.m., and the resident responded that it often happens earlier. The officer asked the resident to call again if the noise begins before 8 a.m.

Back home

12:01 p.m.,  600 block of Longboat Club Road

Civil dispute: Police drove a woman to the University Park area of north Sarasota County to retrieve her vehicle following her initial report of it being stolen. A dispute with an ex-boyfriend involved the man leaving the vehicle in a retail parking lot after dropping off the woman at the airport so that he could drive his own vehicle for work. The man claimed he left word where to find the vehicle. The woman denied knowing where to find her vehicle.

Sandy dispute

3:25 p.m., 200 block of Sands Point Road

Trespassing: A resort employee called police to report two men who were not guests using the private beach. Upon initially talking to the men, the employee told them they had to leave. They said they would when they were finished swimming. The resort employee ordered them off the property, at which point they became argumentative and asked the employee if she was aware of beach rules and Florida law. A police officer who arrived found the men had moved north off the private property and were below the high-water mark of the beach.

Just passing through

5:47 p.m., 5500 block of Gulf of Mexico Drive

Suspicious person: A resident called police to report a man in the nearby woods, shaking trees. Following that, the man began walking from the area to the south, pulling a cart, the resident reported. Police caught up to the man who said he was heading to Sarasota. An officer loaded the man’s cart in a police vehicle and another officer gave him a ride through town to Overlook Park, where his cart was unloaded. Not long later, Sarasota police reported encountering the man. A town officer responded, picked up the man and his cart and transported him to the Salvation Army.

Sept. 30

Not harvest time

9:33 a.m, 5800 block of Gulf of Mexico Drive

Suspicious incident: A caller to police reported a neighbor picking sea oats. When police arrived, the neighbor said she was clearing sand spurs from a beach access area and denied picking sea oats, which are critical to stabilization of beach dunes. Police reminded the woman sea oat picking wasn’t permitted, and the woman said she was  aware.

Oct. 1

Driver charged

12:11 p.m., 6200 block of Gulf of Mexico Drive

Vehicle crash: A driver was charged with operating a vehicle with a suspended license after a crash that not only damaged a single car but also a mailbox and landscaping on both sides of the highway. Police reported the northbound driver reported losing control and crossing  into the southbound lane, hitting a mailbox and shrubs before crossing back and hitting more landscaping on the northbound shoulder. The driver said he believed a tire might have blown out. A passenger said the driver might have fallen asleep because of remarks he had made about being up all night because of a medical issue. The driver was taken to a hospital for minor injuries,

Quite a tale

4:40 p.m., 700 block of El Centro

Suspicious incident: A man called police to describe a possible phone scam he did not fall for.  The man said he returned a missed call and was told he was speaking to a federal agent. The agent said someone had used the man’s Social Security number to open an out of state bank account, funds from which were used to buy a car. That car was ultimately found abandoned with drugs inside. A raid of a property connected to the car resulted in the discovery of an empty home. The investigator sought the man’s personal information to issue him a new Social Security card. The man did not provide any information and called police.

Concerned neighbor

7 p.m., 500 block of Sutton Place

Welfare check: A resident called police to relate concerns about a neighbor she had not seen for a week. An officer went to the home and found the man on the floor at the base of a staircase, alive but incoherent. Fire rescue immediately responded and took the man to the hospital for treatment. The neighbor told police she would look after the home and the man’s cats.

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