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Cops Corner

Longboat police requested for suspicious package of dog food

A resident called police to figure out what to do with a random box of dog food that appeared on his property. This and other Longboat Key Police reports in this week's Cops Corner.

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Friday, March 8

A slew of violations 

7:56 a.m., 1900 block of Gulf of Mexico Drive

Vehicle Stop: After receiving a ping on the license plate reader system, an officer spotted the vehicle in question, marked for a suspended license. The officer initiated the traffic stop and advised the driver that his license was suspended for driving without insurance. The driver was issued a citation and notice to appear in court for that violation. But the officer also issued citations for expired registration and no proof of insurance, and warnings for no headlights in dense fog, broken brake light and not carrying a driver’s license. The driver was advised he had to have someone else come pick up his car, and he was not allowed to drive until his license was reinstated. 

Sunday, March 10

Not free to fish 

7:42 p.m., 2600 block of Gulf of Mexico Drive

Trespassing: Dispatch sent an officer to a report of a man fishing and trespassing on marina property. At the scene, the responding officer spoke with the complainant and the fisherman. A check for warrants came back negative on the fisherman, and the officer served him a trespass warning. He left the property without a problem.

Monday, March 11

Maybe something fishy 

2:20 p.m., Longboat Pass

Vehicle Stop: While on marine patrol, an officer spotted a pontoon vessel that appeared to be operating a charter. There was one captain with eight passengers, appearing to be tourists since the captain was pointing things out and “acting like a tour guide.” The officer stopped the vessel and asked the captain if he was operating a charter, and he said he was operating a bareboat charter. The captain provided a rental agreement, registration, insurance and captain's license. A safety check of the vessel was clear, except for an expired set of flares. The party was sent on its way, but the officer followed up with passengers later in the day. Further information was given to the officer, and the case was sent to the U.S. Coast Guard. 

Something important to have 

11:48 p.m., 4200 block of Gulf of Mexico Drive

Vehicle Stop: While on patrol, an officer noticed a vehicle that was not staying straight in one lane. The officer conducted a traffic stop, and it was discovered that the driver did not have a driver's license. The driver was given two citations and a notice to appear in court, and was advised he had to contact someone else to come and get the vehicle. 

Tuesday, March 12

Waterway hazard 

9:33 a.m., 800 block of Marbury Lane 

Disabled Vehicle: A marine patrol officer noticed a sailboat anchored in the intracoastal waterway. The officer was able to contact the owner by looking up the boat’s registration and retrieving a phone number. The owner said the vessel broke down and he was in need of assistance, which he was in the process of getting. Later in the day, the officer came back to check on the vessel and owner. During the day, the vessel had been dragged further into the intracoastal waterway and posed a hazard. The owner was unable to get the motor started, and had no commercial assistance. Eventually, the marine patrol officer contacted the U.S. Coast Guard, who responded and assisted with a tow. 

'What do I do with this?'

7:14 p.m., 600 block of Cedar Street

Lost/Found Property: A resident called to report a box of dog food that was left outside his house. Upon arrival, an officer spoke to the resident, who said he did not know what to do with the dog food since it wasn’t his. The officer advised him to throw it out. 

Wednesday, March 13

Read signs carefully 

3:59 p.m., Beer Can Island

Animal Problem: On beach patrol, an officer saw a woman with a small dog on the beach. The officer approached her, and told her about the town ordinance prohibiting dogs on the beach. She admitted that she had seen the signs at the beach entrance, but did not believe the ordinance applied to the part of the beach she was on. The officer issued her a citation for the violation. 

Thursday, March 14

Better to be early

4:29 a.m., 500 block of Lyons Lane 

Suspicious Vehicle: An officer was sent to investigate a call for a suspicious vehicle driving around this neighborhood early in the morning. On the scene, the officer located the vehicle-in-question, loaded with pool cleaning supplies. The driver exited the vehicle, and said he was at a house to clean the pool, which he had been doing for the past 10 years. He said he got to the property early because he had a busy day, but said he would wait until 5:30 a.m. to start any work. 



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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