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Cops Corner

Teller calls police over possible fraud after suspicious cash withdrawals

An 87-year-old man's account was frozen after multiple withdrawals by his "fiancé" from bank branches around the city. This and other Sarasota Police Department reports in this week's Cops Corner.

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  • | 5:00 a.m. February 14, 2024
  • Sarasota
  • Cops Corner
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Thursday, Feb, 1

Show off

10:24 p.m., the area of Eighth Street and Tuttle Avenue

Lewd and lascivious act: Reports of a man exposing himself remained an unsolved case after an officer was unable to locate the offending subject. While canvassing the area, the officer was flagged down by the victim and her husband, who was looking for the suspect in the area of Eighth Street.

The victim said she was walking on a path along Tuttle Avenue when she observed a male to the side of the path displaying his pride and joy while facing her. She said she believes he had been relieving a bloated bladder; he then boarded a scooter and rode past her with no attempt to conceal his privates. The suspect then left the area toward Tuttle Avenue.

The complainant did wish to pursue charges should the man be located. 

Dryer door disturbance

12:51 p.m., 200 block of North Lime Avenue

Suspicious person: A response to a call from a coin laundry about a reported battery turned out to be documented as a suspicion. Upon meeting with the complainant an officer was told “there might be some cocaine in here” while presenting a backpack and a reusable grocery bag. 

The subject who may or may not have been in possession of cocaine at one time or another complained to the officer that he was pushed by the owner of the facility and wished to report a battery. The owner responded that the complainant was slamming the dryer doors and yelling at them, which was confirmed by video. There was no evidence of the owner pushing the complainant.

With no evidence of battery, the officer began a drug investigation, searching the subject and his bags but found no evidence of drugs or paraphernalia. When asked why he said the bags may contain cocaine, he responded that he “was messing with me,” according to the police report. Given his erratic behavior, the man was evaluated for the Baker Act but did not meet the criteria. 

Ultimately, the subject was trespassed from the entire shopping complex by a security guard. He left the scene without further incident.

Now that’s a knife, or was it?

3:55 p.m., 0 block of Central Avenue

Dispute: Five Points Park was the site of a dispute over one man charging a phone at an outlet. The dispute involved a knife that was allegedly, but possibly not, brandished. Upon arrival, an officer observed two known subjects engaged in an argument over how one man was using an outlet in the center of the park. 

One phone-charging man claimed the other man pulled a knife and held it against his eye, later changing the story that it was pointed toward his groin area. One witness said a knife was never displayed while another backed up the alleged victim’s story. 

The accused knife-wielder had distanced himself from the scene and was not interviewed, and there were no other witnesses to the incident.


Sunday, Feb. 4

Seizing the day

8:29 a.m., 1500 block of Oak Park Avenue

Disturbance: A complainant told a responding officer that she was arguing with a male housemate and wanted him to leave the residence. The officer asked the subject to step outside to talk, where he began reaching into his pockets, ignoring several commands to stop. He then began to walk toward the garage, also ignoring commands to stop. Because of failure to comply, he was then restrained by the officer until backup arrived.

The man then claimed to be having a seizure and was escorted to the ground in a controlled manner to prevent injuries. Medics responded to the scene and cleared the man, confirming there were no signs of a seizure. The man was provided with a courtesy ride to his parents’ residence.

Tuesday, Feb. 6

Crisp C-notes only

5:12 p.m., 0 Block of Central Avenue

Suspicious incident: A bank teller advised a responding officer that she believed there is fraudulent activity regarding an elderly customer. She said an 87-year-old man arrived with his “fiancé” and attempted to withdraw a large amount of cash. The teller said the pair were in the bank the day prior and withdrew several thousand dollars, requesting it in new $100 bills. 

Becoming suspicious, the teller spoke with the man in a private room, where he explained he needed the cash to pay bills. After they left, the teller put a freeze on the account, and later discovered the pair had been going to other bank branches and withdrew money. She called the police when they returned to her branch to withdraw more cash, but could not because the account was locked. 

The pair had left the branch before the officer arrived, but it was confirmed that both of their names are on the account. The case was forwarded to the SPD Criminal Investigations Division.


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