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Vacationers worried about beds made in the night

After returning from the pool after midnight, the guests wondered how their beds were made. This and other Longboat Key Police reports in this week's Cops Corner.

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Friday, March 22

Out of town 

2:10 a.m., 100 block of Broadway Street

Suspicious Vehicle: An officer on patrol noticed a car with an out-of-state license plate parked at the beach access after hours. The car's owner spoke with the officer and said she was on vacation. The officer advised her that no parking was allowed at the access after 11 p.m., and she was sent on her way. 

Saturday, March 23

Issue with lights and license 

3:47 a.m., 600 block of Gulf of Mexico Drive

Vehicle Stop: While on patrol, an officer observed a vehicle with its tail lights out, prompting a traffic stop. When the officer approached the driver and requested the usual documentation, the driver said she did not have a driver’s license and never had one. She was issued a criminal citation for the driver’s license issue but left with a warning for the tail lights. 

Monday, March 25

Cop or cab?

4:34 a.m., 4500 block of Gulf of Mexico Drive

Suspicious Person: Dispatch sent officers to a report of a suspicious person. At the scene, officers located the man in question walking south on GMD. He said he was homeless and in need of some help. An officer gave the man a courtesy ride to Sarasota. 


Property problems 

10 a.m., 4200 block of Gulf of Mexico Drive

Civil Disturbance: Officers responded to a call about a civil dispute between an association board member and a contractor. Upon arrival, an officer spoke with the contractor, who said the dispute ensued over unpaid invoices. The dispute allegedly escalated to name calling before the contractor said he removed himself from the situation and contacted police. The officer spoke with the board member, who also informed police that he was new and did not know about the invoices. It was suggested that the contractor reach out to someone else about the matter. 

Tuesday, March 26

Found his way on shore

2:25 a.m., 4400 block of Exeter Drive

Disabled Vehicle: Two officers on patrol spoke with a man who said he was on Longboat Key trying to find his friend who was adrift near Bayfront Park. The officers canvassed the area with flashlights and found the man with his vessel. He said he was adrift in the vessel for over a day after some motor issues prohibited him from starting the vessel. He said he didn’t need any assistance from the police, but requested to tie up the vessel at a nearby dock until morning. The man called a ride-share service to get home. 

Let the lock be 

5:12 p.m., 500 block of Ranger Lane 

Officer Public Service: Dispatch sent an officer to a resident’s call about a water line issue. Workers were at the scene when the officer arrived, and the officer spoke with the complainant. The officer learned that Public Works put a padlock on the water line switch because it violated city code, and that Public Works was supposed to remove the lock by the end of the day. The complainant was advised to not cut the lock and to let Public Works resolve the issue the following day. 

Wednesday, March 27

Runaway crab traps 

10:49 a.m., 600 block of Rountree Drive

Lost/Found Property: A citizen called police to investigate missing crab traps. When the officer arrived to speak with the caller, she said she set up several traps about two weeks prior and that she would check them weekly. On this day, the traps weren’t normal — one was missing and another was empty with no bait or crabs. She said one of her neighbors also claimed to be missing a crab trap, which was later confirmed to have drifted away. The caller said she was unsure if her trap was stolen, or if it drifted away with a strong current. The responding officer reached out to a marine patrol officer, who said crab traps often get lost, drift away or are dragged away by boats. No further action was taken. 

Already on it

5:27 p.m., 500 block of Harbour Cove Circle

Officer Public Service: Officers were dispatched to a call regarding a pontoon boat that appeared to be sinking. Before arriving at the scene, an officer checked for previous reports of the boat and found one that listed the boat’s owner. The officer called the owner, who was aware of the situation and arranged for a tow. 

Thursday, March 28

Suspicious room service 

1:56 a.m., 6800 block of Pine Street

Suspicious Incident: A Longboat Key officer responded to this suspicious incident call in the middle of the night. Upon arrival at the scene, the officer spoke with a group of people who said they were staying in the main house while their grandmother was in the other house in the back. The group was hanging out by the pool and when they returned inside, two previously unmade beds were made up. 

About 20 minutes later, the group said they found the third bed was also made. They said they didn’t see anyone on the property, and believed the grandmother was intoxicated enough to be ruled out. One of the family members also said she was in her closet and a cloud of dust came out from the overhead attic access. The officer searched the house and didn’t see any signs of forced entry or a disturbance. The call ended with a consensus that the grandmother could have possibly made the beds without the family’s knowledge. 



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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