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Cops Corner

Police evict man found sleeping on a resident’s balcony

The man, a former caretaker for the property, was found sleeping on the balcony without permission. This and other Longboat Key Police reports in this week's Cops Corner.

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Friday, May 3

Need a different marketing strategy 

10:14 a.m., 500 block of Schooner Lane 

Suspicious Person: An officer responded to a report of a man going door to door. At the scene, the officer located the man, who was going door to door soliciting for his window cleaning business. The officer told the man soliciting was not allowed in the area, and asked him to leave. 

All chairs accounted for 

11:54 p.m., 2200 block of Gulf of Mexico Drive

Noise Disturbance: When an officer first responded to this call, it was in reference to a possible beach chair theft. The complainant thought that nearby fishermen were using his property’s beach chairs. The officer went to talk with the fishermen, who did not have any beach chairs. But, the group did have a loud radio, which warranted a verbal warning from the officer. The group said they were done fishing, packed up their trash and left the scene. Following the interaction, the officer returned to the complainant, who realized no chairs were missing. 

Saturday, May 4

Marine rescue collaboration 

2:39 a.m., 4700 block of Gulf of Mexico Drive

Assist Other Agency: Police responded to a marine rescue call of a woman lost in the Gulf of Mexico. The caller said she and her friend were swimming after having a few drinks, and her friend decided to venture into deeper waters. She lost sight of her friend and searched for her for about 30 minutes before calling 911. Longboat Key Fire Rescue took command of the search, with assistance from Longboat Key Police patrolling on the beach. The Coast Guard responded with a helicopter about an hour later. Around 7 a.m., an officer was flagged down by a vacationer who said there was a woman sleeping on a couch by the condominium pool. The woman was confirmed to be the missing person. She was not injured, and the search was called off. 

Still learning about the new house

6:42 p.m., 7000 block of Firehouse Road

Lock Out: Dispatch sent an officer to respond to a resident who locked herself on her second-story porch. The officer arrived on the scene and opened the door from the other side for her. She said she just moved in and did not realize the door would lock behind her. 

Drunk without directions

10:55 p.m., Broadway Street 

Officer Public Service: An officer responded to a report of a possible missing person. At the scene, the officer located three men who said one of them was yelling due to being lost. The man was intoxicated and turned down the wrong street. The three said everything was okay, and that they were going back to their boats to keep an eye on the intoxicated man.

Tuesday, May 7

Not the right license

12:05 p.m., Longboat Pass Bridge

Vehicle Stop: A marine patrol officer noticed a vessel operating at a high speed in a minimum wake zone. After stopping the vehicle, the officer spoke with the operator, who could only provide a German driver’s license and not a boater identification card. The officer let him off with a warning for the wake violation, but issued a citation for not having the boater ID. 

Wednesday, May 8 

Crashing on the balcony 

9:24 p.m., 6600 block of Gulf of Mexico Drive

Trespassing: While conducting a property check request, an officer noticed a vehicle parked in the driveway. The vehicle was known to be driven by a former caretaker of the home. The officer then proceeded to check the property and found the vehicle’s owner sleeping outside on the second-floor balcony. He said he is currently homeless and had permission from the property owner to stay on the property, though he did not have keys to enter. Then, the officer contacted the property owner's daughter who said hasn’t been a caretaker for a year and did not have permission to be on the property. The man was issued a trespass warning and left the property.



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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