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Cops Corner

Resident calls for police assistance for ducklings in pool

An officer decided it was best to wait for a trained professional to take care of the small ducks. This and other Longboat Key Police reports in this week's Cops Corner.

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Friday, April 19

Quick traffic disruption 

3:40 p.m., 5000 block of Gulf of Mexico Drive

Officer Public Service: While on patrol, an officer noticed a semi-truck stopped along the side of Gulf of Mexico Drive. The driver was near the back of the truck and pumping air into a tire. After the officer told him that no parking was allowed along GMD, the driver said he was waiting to pull into the construction site across the street, which he did about a minute later. 

Saturday, April 20

No camping  

12:10 a.m., 500 block of Bay Isles Parkway

Suspicious Vehicle: An officer on patrol noticed a vehicle backed into a parking spot with its windows down and investigated the suspicious vehicle. When the officer approached the vehicle, he found a man asleep in the driver's seat and a woman sleeping in the passenger seat. The two said they were homeless and waiting until the man started construction work on the island in the morning. The officer advised the couple that no overnight camping in vehicles is allowed on Longboat Key, and the two said they would leave the area until morning.

Beach chair dispute 

12:34 p.m., 5600 block of Gulf of Mexico Drive

Officer Public Service: Dispatch sent an officer to a citizen assist call when a complainant reported her beach chairs were moved. The complainant flagged down the responding officer upon arrival and took the officer to a stack of beach chairs. She said the chairs were hers and were moved up to the parking lot from the beach. According to her, she has deeded access to the beach and has left her chairs by the beach for over a decade so she does not have to move them back and forth from her house every day. She showed the officer where she usually keeps the chairs, which the officer identified as private property of a condominium complex. The officer was then approached by the management of the complex, who said they thought the chairs were abandoned and they did not want the chairs on their property anymore. The chair owner agreed to not keep the chairs on the complex property anymore. 

Dog wrangler

11:06 p.m., 5300 block of Gulf of Mexico Drive

Animal Problem: While on patrol, an officer saw a greyhound running loose around this block of GMD. The officer secured the dog with a leash, contacted the owner and returned the dog to its home. 

Monday, April 22

Long suspension  

2:14 p.m., 200 block of Gulf of Mexico Drive

Vehicle Stop: A license plate reader alerted officers to a driver with a suspended license. An officer located the vehicle and its driver and conducted a traffic stop. The officer spoke with the driver and advised him that his driver’s license was suspended. The driver said that he knew his license was suspended since 1999, and also admitted to not having insurance. The officer issued him a notice to appear for the violation and called a tow truck to remove the vehicle. 

Time to renew 

4:31 p.m., 4700 block of Gulf of Mexico Drive

Vehicle Stop: An officer on patrol noticed a truck veering from the lane of traffic on three occasions and pulled the truck over. The driver gave the officer a foreign identification card and said he did not have a driver’s license because it was suspended. The officer checked databases for the driver and discovered that the driver had not renewed his license since 2005. The driver was given a notice to appear in court and a passenger with a valid driver’s license took control of the vehicle. 

Tuesday, April 23

Unexpected landing ashore

9 a.m., 6900 block of Bayside Drive 

Suspicious Boat: Officers were dispatched to the Linley Street Boat Ramp for a report of a sailing vessel that broke free from its anchor and washed ashore. An officer contacted the owner by looking up the boat’s registration. The owner was out of town and unaware the boat had broken free, but he said he would contact commercial assistance to remove the boat. 

Wednesday, April 24

Late-night exploration 

2:10 a.m., 4000 block of Gulf of Mexico Drive

Suspicious Person: On a routine patrol, an officer saw a vehicle parked at Bayfront Park with the lights turned off. The officer approached the vehicle and spoke with the driver, who was sitting alone in the vehicle and wearing a headlamp. After the officer advised the driver that the park closed at 11 p.m., the driver said he was visiting parks. The officer asked him further about why he was in the park this late, to which the driver replied he had a very busy work day and this was his only free time. The driver received a warning for being in the park after hours. 

Duckling pool party

4:46 p.m., 2700 block of Gulf of Mexico Drive

Animal Problem: A caller reported four baby ducks in her pool, which prompted a police response. Upon arrival, the officer met with the caller and she led the officer to the pool area where there were four small ducks huddled together and swimming in the pool. The caller said she had already called Save Our Seabirds, but no one was available until the following morning. She also said that the same thing happened a couple of weeks ago, but the mother duck had returned to the pool. Now she was worried because the mother duck had not come back. The officer said if she was okay with the ducks being in her pool, it was probably best to wait until someone from Save Our Seabirds could respond. 



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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