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Police: Two jewelry thefts don't appear to be related

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  • | 5:00 a.m. February 5, 2014
  • Longboat Key
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A Longboat Key couple reported that between $550,000 and $600,000 worth of jewelry was stolen from their condominium Jan. 28. Earlier that day, a man and woman reported a break-in at the home where they were staying and at least $3,000 worth of jewelry missing.

But while both incidents occurred mid-Key and on the same day, police don’t believe they are related.
The larger of the two thefts occurred Tuesday evening at Vizcaya condominium, 2355 Gulf of Mexico Drive, while John and Elenor Maxheim were out to dinner in Sarasota.

Police say the suspect(s) entered the fire escape stairwell from the garage, which wasn’t locked, and entered the second floor, where the couple’s door was propped open with a brick. The thief or thieves then opened an unlocked door to the dinette area.

The suspect(s) apparently removed jewelry from a tray in the master bedroom’s drawer and a travel bag and also stole $1,200 and 500 Euros, all in cash, from a closet.

A Vizcaya manager called police at 10:12 p.m. to report the incident. According to a police report, the condominium does not have video surveillance on the property.

Earlier in the evening, police responded to a burglary reported at 6:06 p.m. in the 600 block of Buttonwood Drive.

John Rozylowicz and Terri Baker, both of Illinois, returned to the home where they’ve been staying for several weeks and noticed the front door had been forced open. They discovered that more than $3,000 worth of jewelry was missing.

Neighbors reported seeing two white or Hispanic males in the area that night and the day before in a black or gray vehicle.

The incidents don’t appear connected, according to Longboat Key Police Chief Pete Cumming.

“After looking at both of them, there’s nothing that seems to be related in any way,” Cumming said. “One was a forced entry. In the other, the door to the building was propped open and the point of entry appears to be a stairwell.”

Cumming said Monday afternoon that police continue to pursue leads in both cases and could possibly use data from the license-recognition cameras installed on both entrances to the Key last year to identify the vehicle witnesses described in the Buttonwood Drive case.

Contact Robin Hartill at [email protected]



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