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Police try to locate suspicious trash picker

Police were dispatched in response to an incident with someone digging through a construction dumpster. This and other Longboat Key Police reports in this week's Cops Corner.

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Saturday, July 22

Car troubles

9:44 a.m., 6000 block of Longboat Drive South

Agency Assistance: Palmetto Police Department found a Longboat resident’s car unattended in Palmetto, and the department asked Longboat Key Police to check on the vehicle’s owner. Longboat Police were able to contact the owner, who was aware the car was in Palmetto due to car troubles. 

Out of gas

10:20 a.m., 3500 block of Gulf of Mexico Drive

Traffic Hazard: Police noticed a traffic hazard while on patrol. A vehicle was parked in between the roadway and bike lane. The driver stated she ran out of gas, so the responding officer helped push the vehicle off the road while she waited for her husband to return with gas. 

Stranded pontoon

4:28 p.m., Sarasota Bay 

Boat-Miscellaneous: An officer on marine patrol was dispatched to a report of a pontoon boat taking on water with 12 people on board. On the scene, the officer realized the boat had not been taking on water, but the engine was disabled. The boat had been stranded for two hours. The crew didn’t come prepared with enough water, so the responding officer assisted the children and elderly on board the police vessel and back to where they had rented the boat from. 

Sunday, July 23

Unattended vehicle

12:02 a.m., 4000 block of Gulf of Mexico Drive 

Suspicious Vehicle: On patrol, an officer noticed a vehicle with Virginia tags parked in a business’ parking lot. Upon inspection, the officer saw the vehicle was unoccupied but was warm to the touch, indicating it hadn’t been sitting for long. The officer checked the area around the car and further down the road, but saw no one. 

Suspicious buoy

8:57 p.m., 6000 block of Gulf of Mexico Drive 

Boat-Miscellaneous: A boat with flashing lights, possibly in distress, was reported off Whitney Beach. Police responded to investigate, and found that the flashing light was a buoy. 

Wednesday, July 26

Garbage picking

7:08 a.m., 5000 block of Gulf of Mexico Drive 

Trespassing: Longboat Police were dispatched to respond to a suspicious person described as a female in her 30s with a cart. They were advised she was rummaging through a construction dumpster. Responding officers made contact with the complainant, who said he had confronted the woman. The woman began yelling at the complainant before taking a can of spray paint out of the garbage. She then got on her bicycle with a cart that appeared to be made of PVC pipe, and was not seen again. Officers were unable to locate her. 

Evading police

7:51 p.m., 500 block of Bay Isles Parkway

Citizen Assist: A resident concerned about a stray cat called the Longboat Police Department for help. She had concerns about handling the cat and if it could be fed or taken home. The officer didn’t see the cat at first, and the resident said maybe it was hiding from law enforcement. 



Carter Weinhofer

Carter Weinhofer is the Longboat Key news reporter for the Observer. Originally from a small town in Pennsylvania, he moved to St. Petersburg to attend Eckerd College until graduating in 2023. During his entire undergraduate career, he worked at the student newspaper, The Current, holding positions from science reporter to editor-in-chief.

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