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Longboat Key Cops Corner: A bottle of trouble

Police reports from around Longboat Key.

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  • | 10:10 a.m. April 7, 2020
  • Longboat Key
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March 28

Closing time

9:17 a.m., 4700 block of Gulf of Mexico Drive

Public service: A resort manager called police to stand by while a guest was asked to leave. The guest had taken a bottle of wine from the bar without paying the night before, the manager said. The resort did not wish to press charges but added the wine to the guest’s bill. The guest left the property without incident.

At anchor

11:20 a.m., Greer Island

Public service: Police were sent to Greer Island on a report of boaters in the area. The officer who went to investigate found two vessels anchored about 100 feet offshore. They were more than 50 feet apart and each had fewer than 10 people aboard, in keeping with state guidelines for social distancing to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Sandy paws

11:44 a.m., 1900 block of Gulf of Mexico Drive

Animal call: A man with a dog on the beach was informed by an officer he was in violation of town regulations. The man said he wasn’t aware of those regulations and left without incident.

Socially distant

12:18 p.m., 5600 block of Gulf of Mexico Drive

Public service: A caller to police reported what was initially thought to be an improper gathering on the beach. Once an officer arrived, he determined the group of about 20 people was properly dispersed, in accordance with social distancing guidelines.

Nice try

1:36 p.m., 2800 block of Gulf of Mexico Drive

Parking: A police officer was sent to the area of a public beach access on a report of vehicles parked along the highway, outside of the closed parking area. The officer spoke with the drivers, and they left without incident.

Not what it looks like

1:48 p.m., 5100 block of Gulf of Mexico Drive

 Trespassing: An off-site property manager called police after spotting on video a vehicle that did not belong to a resident in the parking lot. Upon an officer’s arrival, a resident pointed out the couple on the beach who arrived in the vehicle. One of the beachgoers said she was an employee of a resident who granted permission to use the lot and the beach as visitors. The officer relayed that information to the property manager.

Sunshine between them

2:58 p.m., 1000 block of Gulf of Mexico Drive

Suspicious activity: Police were notified of what a caller believed was an improper gathering of people on the beach. What an officer found was a number of small groups, no more than four people each and dispersed on the sand. The only groups not practicing six-foot social distancing were couples.

Keeping an eye on them

4:11 p.m., Greer Island

Suspicious circumstance: Police responded to the north end of the island to look into reports of dozens of boats anchored near Greer Island, Jewfish Key and an adjacent sandbar. The officer sent to the scene reported the boaters were already under the scrutiny of state wildlife officers and the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office for compliance with state guidelines on boat occupancy and separation.

Calling for a tow

8:10 p.m., 100 block of Gulf of Mexico Drive

Public service: Police were notified of a sailboat near Overlook Park that had run aground. The boat operator requested a tow, and no further assistance was needed.

Citation needed

10:33 p.m., 2200 block of Gulf of Mexico Drive

Traffic: The driver of a car-hauling tractor-trailer was cited after police found his rig parked on the side of the road, blocking the bicycle lane and partially obstructing the road. The citation was for “parking in an exclusive bike lane.’’

March 29

Don’t spray it

1:58 a.m., 600 block of Spanish Drive South

Public service: A report of a broken sprinkler head brought police out to investigate. The caller told police to disregard the problem because the sprinkling system had shut off. The caller offered to contact the property owner about the problem.

He was gone

9:26 a.m., 2800 block of Gulf of Mexico Drive

Suspicious person: Police were unable to locate a man described by a caller as talking to himself and swearing while sitting on a bench.

Paddling rule-breakers

3:45 p.m., Greer Island

Suspicious persons: A family on the beach, within view of a sign indicating the beach was closed, was told to leave. The family had paddleboards with them and had apparently used them to arrive on the beach. They left when asked.

Chain reaction

7:38 p.m., 5700 block of Gulf of Mexico Drive

Public service: A bicycle rider called for help after an article of clothing became tangled in the chain and rear sprocket. The snag was freed and the rider was escorted back home.

March 30

So close, so far

3:26 p.m., off the key

Assist other agencies: The town’s marine patrol officer responded across the bay to a report of a sinking vessel near Sarasota’s 10th Street Boat Ramp. Upon the officer’s arrival, he determined a boat was not sinking, but rather a kayak had drifted away from an anchored vessel, and the owner had no way of retrieving it. Longboat’s officer gave the boater a lift to land to retrieve the kayak.

Who’s there?

6500 block of Gulfside Road

Prowler: Police searched around a neighborhood following a report of a man dressed in dark clothing in a resident’s driveway. No one was found, and no fresh footprints were discovered in the sand around the home.

March 31

Proper paperwork

1:56 p.m., 2100 block of Harbourside Drive

Lost property: A caller reported the front license plate of her out-of-state registered car was missing. In speaking with authorities in her home state, the caller was told a police report would be necessary to begin the process of replacing the plate. The caller said she didn’t drive much and was sure it was attached to the car about a month earlier but otherwise couldn’t pin down when it last was there.

April 1

Delivering . . . suspicion

2:13 p.m., 500 block of Spanish Lane

Suspicious vehicle: Residents reported an out-of-place vehicle in their neighborhood. Police learned it was a food-delivery vehicle, driven by an employee unfamiliar with the address of a client.

I believe these are yours

6:58 p.m., Gulf of Mexico Drive and Broadway Street

Code enforcement: A police supervisor removed several temporary signs posted along the roadway in violation of town codes. One of them was brought back to police headquarters. Two other batches were returned to commercial locations, along with an explanation to the business managers.

April 2


10:36 a.m., 1900 block of Harbourside Drive

Scam: A resident reported a scam attempt to police. The resident said he received a legitimate-appearing text that asked if he wanted to change his wireless service. When the resident clicked “no,” another party apparently gained control of his smartphone. A call to the real wireless provider solved the issue, but the resident wanted to make a police report of the incident. He was advised to keep an eye on his credit card and bank records.

Back to shore

7:38 p.m., 2400 block of Gulf of Mexico Drive

Water rescue: Police and fire-rescue units responded to the beach after receiving a call about a pair of kayakers struggling to reach shore from the Gulf of Mexico. A fire-rescue boat was dispatched, but the kayakers managed to paddle ashore on their own before its arrival. No injuries were reported.

No photos

7:42 p.m., 3600 block of Gulf of Mexico Drive

Trespassing: A foursome of motorcycle riders who stopped to photograph a beach scene were advised they were on recreational property belonging to a nearby homeowners’ association. They apologized and left.  


8:12 p.m., 1600 block of Gulf of Mexico Drive

Trespassing: Police went to the fenced property of a former beach resort to investigate a report of a vehicle driving through an opening. A caller said a vehicle with green accessory lights was driving in circles on the beach, then left southbound on Gulf of Mexico Drive. An officer reported the vehicle was no longer at the scene when he arrived, but he found tire tracks in the sand.


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