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Beach pipe bomb threat was a swatting incident

A multi-agency response to a pipe bomb claim was one of many in the state on the same day. This and other Sarasota Police Department reports in this week's Cops Corner.

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  • | 5:00 a.m. September 27, 2023
  • Sarasota
  • Cops Corner
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Wednesday, Sept. 13

Bogus beach bombs

11:47 a.m., 4700 block of Gulf of Mexico Drive

Assist other agency: Dispatch received an anonymous caller claiming pipe bombs were placed on the beach and that law enforcement would be shot at if they were encountered.

Officers, including a K-9 unit, cleared the resort and then went to the beach where there were multiple groups of people but nothing appeared out of the ordinary. Continuing the investigation, nothing suspicious was discovered and officers spoke with a witness who said she had been on the beach and did not witness anything suspicious. 

Once the beach was cleared it was discovered that the call was likely an incident of swatting, and that the phone number from. which the call originated, and that the number used was a virtual (internet) line. The FBI was notified, and the event was one of many that had occurred throughout the state the same day.

Longboat Key police concluded their investigation and the call was cleared with no further incident.

Thursday, Sept. 14

Smoking squabble

10:06 p.m., 2200 block of Fifth Street

Civil dispute: Cigarette smoke emanating through the walls of an apartment resulted in a dispute between neighbors. An officer met with the complainant who stated he has been having an issue with his neighbor about him smoking inside his apartment and constantly smelling the smoke through the walls. He advised that he has children and does not want them constantly breathing in the smoke. 

The complainant said he confronted the neighbor about the issue, resulting in a verbal dispute. He added that he has found nails in his tire previously and, although he has no evidence, suspects the smoking neighbor is the perpetrator.

An officer spoke with the neighbor who confirmed he was confronted by the complainant, but was previously unaware of the smoke issue. The subject provided doorbell video footage over recent days showing no incidents involving him placing nails under a tire. The two men were advised the matter was civil in nature and no crime occurred. 

Monday, Sept. 18

Remiss rental return

10:03 a.m., 2800 block of Bay Street

Civil dispute: Police were dispatched to a home where a complainant said he allowed a female acquaintance borrow his rental car and she had failed to return it. The urgency was that the car was not returned by the termination of the rental agreement. He told police he didn’t want the woman to be in trouble and that he just wanted the vehicle back.

While on scene, the complainant received texts from the woman stating she was going to return the vehicle. With the two communicating, the officer determined the matter between the two parties was resolved.


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