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Cops Corner

Sandbar mistaken for floating body

Reportedly missing sailboat resident was located ashore. This and other tales from the files of the SPD in this week's Cops Corner.

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  • | 5:00 a.m. June 14, 2023
  • Sarasota
  • Cops Corner
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Wednesday, May 31

Lost at sea?

6:29 a.m., 2 Marina Plaza

Suspicious incident: A woman called police regarding a missing man. She stated she had been staying on a 30-foot sailboat with the man, who had left the day before around noon; she had not seen him or his dinghy since. Approximately an hour before calling police, she said she believed she witnessed a body floating in the water near the shoreline. After contacting SPD, she realized she had witnessed a sandbar and not a body. The man was later located alive and well in the 400 block of South Orange Avenue.

Thursday, June 1

Pillars of the community

2:42 p.m., 1300 block of Boulevard of the Arts

Property damage: A complainant who is the property manager reported that someone had spray painted concrete pillars that border the property along the fence line. The officer observed five pillars that had different phrases painted on them, including “Germ” and “Kill the Plas.” Another was an obscenity. The complainant said she believes the graffiti occurred during Memorial Day weekend.

She advised that this is not the first time someone had tagged the property with “Germ,” the prior time occurring more than a year ago, and that she wished to pursue charges. There is no security footage or other evidence to aid in an investigation.

Friday, June 2

Phantom burglar

6:14 p.m., 3200 block of Oakwood Boulevard

Residential burglary: Police responded to a call about a burglary at a home, but found no suspicious activity. The home owner said she was knitting in her living room and looked down the hallway into the bathroom. In the mirror of the bathroom she said she saw a reflection of what she thought was a male and called police. Officers cleared the home and found no signs that indicated anyone else had been in the home.

Monday, June 5

Vehicular vandalism

9:17 a.m., 1800 block of Bay Road

Criminal mischief: A vehicle owned by the public defender’s office of the 12th Circuit Judicial Court was vandalized. An officer responded to an auto repair shop where they met with the complainant who advised someone had poured baking powder into the gas tank, causing damage to the engine. The officer observed the vehicle on a lift and baking powder visible on the passenger side of the car. Damage is estimated at $2,000.

The complainant said she believes the incident occurred on May 1 when the car was parked on the third level of the Ringling Parking Garage. There are no cameras in the garage, no witnesses and no suspect information. The case was turned over to the Criminal Investigation Division.

Tuesday, June 6

A shot in the dark

8:20 a.m., 1100 block of Center Place

Suspicious incident: A dispatcher who heard possible gunshots during a call that abruptly ended sent officers to a location within 39 yards of where the call was triangulated. Officers arrived as a female resident was exiting her driveway. She said she did not call 911 nor did she see or hear anything suspicious. 

Next door, a home was being constructed where a nail gun was actively being used. Workers there said they did not see or hear anything that would have prompted a 911 call. Officers canvassed the surrounding homes resulting in either no answer at the door or that the resident hadn't heard any gunshots or suspicious activity. No further action was taken.

Missing inaction

9:33 a.m., 200 block of South Palm Avenue

Welfare check: An officer responded to a call about a man who was paid in advance by a church to help with repairs failing to show up for several days. The complainant told the officer the subject had been given a cash advance of $1,600, but he had not been seen or heard from since May 26.

The complainant advised the church was not interested in the subject being investigated but requested an attempt to locate him for a welfare check. Police discovered that the man had been arrested and was in custody in Pinellas County Jail. 


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