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Police investigate suspicious contractor requesting after-hours access

A man stating he was with an air conditioning vendor had a shaky story to tell the complex security guard. This and other Longboat Key Police reports in this week's Cops Corner.

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Friday, Sept. 1 

Second warning

4 p.m, 4000 block of Gulf of Mexico Drive 

Boat-Miscellaneous: Longboat Key Police Department marine patrol spotted a partially submerged vessel touching the bottom and tied to a dock. The officer contacted the owner of the vessel, who said he was unaware of the situation and would take care of it. But the owner had previously been cited for the same violation, which he claimed to have received. The officer advised the owner that he would be receiving a second citation for the violation. 

Saturday, Sept. 2 

Access denied 

11:40 a.m., 1000 block of Gulf of Mexico Drive 

Suspicious Incident: An officer was dispatched to investigate the report of an air conditioning company requesting access to a room in an apartment complex. The security guard, who called in the complaint, said the driver requested access to a room that didn’t exist, before changing his answer to a different room. According to the security guard’s story, he told the driver that no vendors were allowed in the complex on weekends unless it was an emergency, at which the driver left the premises and parked at another building. The officer was unable to locate the vehicle, but the security guard assured the officer that no access to the complex was given. 

Just waiting 

11:16 p.m., 1200 block of Gulf of Mexico Drive 

Suspicious Person: While on patrol, an officer noticed a man sitting alone on the sidewalk in the dark. The officer claimed to be concerned for the man’s welfare, so he checked up on him. The man said he was just sitting and waiting for a friend, and didn’t want to wait on the beach due to mosquitoes. 

Monday, Sept. 4 

Help is on the way

12:01 p.m., 5500 block of Gulf of Mexico Drive 

Citizen Assist: A vehicle illegally parked in a bike lane was checked by a Longboat Key officer. The officer made contact with the owner, who said the vehicle broke down and was waiting for a tow company. 

Credential check 

12:54 p.m., Sister Keys 

Boat-Miscellaneous: While on marine patrol, an officer observed a catamaran vessel with nine passengers sitting in the bow area. The officer conducted a stop and asked about the charter service. The captain said he was indeed a charter and working for a company out of Longboat Key. Proper paperwork was then asked for by the officer. The captain was unable to provide a certificate of inspection. The officer spoke to passengers, and one stated they had organized the charter online for $150 per person. The captain was able to show a contract for the charter, but the officer stated the investigation would be turned over to the Coast Guard to confirm his credentials. 

Tuesday, Sept. 5 

Pool problems

9:13 a.m., 600 block of Norton Street

Citizen Assist: Longboat Key Police were asked to help a citizen. Upon arrival, the owner stated she had questions about how to empty her pool. The responding officers advised her that she cannot empty any water from the pool into the canal, and another officer was able to help her make contact with a pool service. 

Wednesday, Sept. 6 

Man versus nature 

1:30 p.m., Longboat Pass

Boat-Miscellaneous: A marine patrol officer saw a man paddling an inflatable raft, having some trouble against a strong current. The officer assisted the paddler to shore. 

Thursday, Sept. 7

Transformer troubles

3:01 p.m., 3000 block of Gulf of Mexico Drive 

Fire Assist: An officer on patrol witnessed a transformer explode in the area, and contacted Longboat Key Fire Rescue. When the fire rescue department arrived on scene, the case was turned over to fire rescue. 

Wounded bird

8:20 p.m., 400 block of Gulf of Mexico Drive 

Animal Complaint: The report of an injured animal prompted police response, while Sarasota Animal Control was also on the way. The officer met with the caller on scene, who said she found an injured bird. The bird was placed in a box and left in safe hands to wait for Sarasota Animal Control.  



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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