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Longboat Key Monday, Jul. 8, 2019 3 years ago

'Smash and grab' car burglary reported on Longboat

Break-in reported at Broadway Street beach access on July 6.
by: Sten Spinella Staff Writer

Longboat Key Police are investigating a "smash-and-grab" style car burglary that took place at a beach access on the north end of the island on Saturday.

Sheila Loccisano, a part-time resident who runs the "followmetolongboatkey" Instagram account, reported to police her drivers' side window had been smashed and the car's interior ransacked.  

“It looks as if the suspect, whoever that is, and we’re working on it, they probably watched her park, get out, and then smashed the window and just grabbed cash out of the car,” Police Chief Pete Cumming said.

Glass shards litter the inside of Loccisano's vehicle. Photo courtesy of Sheila Loccisano.

Loccisano said she was surprised the Broadway Street beach access was half full when she arrived around 5:30 p.m. 

"I parked in the very first spot when you get to the parking lot closest to the road," she said. "Actually, I was thinking, 'Oh, that's the safest spot, nothing will happen to it here.' Not that I've ever had anything happen on Longboat Key, I haven't." 

This was, according to Cumming, an isolated incident.

“Usually we get a cluster of them,” Cumming said. “But that’s the only one we’ve had reported over the weekend.”

Longboat police are now asking police in Bradenton Beach, Holmes Beach and other island communities to the north if similar break-ins were reported over the weekend.

Longboat Police swabbed for DNA evidence, but because less than $40 was taken, examination at a crime lab isn't available. Still, such evidence could possibly link a suspect to other break ins if a string of crimes becomes clear.

Police are also using the license plate recognition cameras at either end of Longboat to look for individuals who came on or off the island within that frame.

Cumming said that outside of damage to the vehicle, the robbery rendered minimal losses, and that this type of incident, while not typical, happens occasionally at beach accesses. Loccisano saidi she hopes to be able to tell her social media followers that the suspect has been apprehended in the future. 


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Sten Spinella is a Town Hall Reporter for the Longboat Observer. He earned his bachelor's degree from the University of Connecticut and his master's degree from the University of Missouri. 

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