Sarasota man arrested after burglary, assault & grand theft

SARASOTA, FL. – February 16, 2017   – 1:30 p.m.

Officers with the Sarasota Police Department, working in conjunction with the United States Marshals Service Florida Regional Fugitive Task Force, have arrested Steven Lipsey, 29, of 2520 North Orange Avenue, Sarasota.  Lipsey has been charged with Burglary with Assault or Battery and Grand Theft.  Lipsey also has charges pending from the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office and Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office.

On January 30, 2017 at approximately 2 a.m., Sarasota Police Officers responded to 855 Mecca Drive reference to a burglary with battery and vehicle theft.  The victim told Sarasota Police Officers he returned home, walked inside and was confronted by an unknown black male.  Lipsey, who is believed to have entered the victim’s home through a rear sliding glass door, attacked the victim, punched him in the face, threw him to the ground and said “don’t let me kill you, give me all your money.”

The victim struggled with Lipsey and Lipsey pushed the victim onto the ground, went inside his pockets stealing his wallet, car keys and casino chips.  Lipsey left through the front door and stole the victim’s vehicle.  The victim then called 911.

At approximately 8 a.m. on January 30, 2017, Officers observed a vehicle matching the description of the victim’s parked at the dead end of the 4700 block of David Avenue, Sarasota.  A wanted check on the vehicle came back stolen reference to the incident on Mecca Drive.  Subsequent investigative evidence led to the development of probable cause to charge Lipsey.

Lipsey is currently being held on no bond at the Sarasota County Jail.

Steven Lipsey, 29

Steven Lipsey, 29

Sarasota Police to host Coffee with a Cop February 23, 2017

SARASOTA, FL. – February 16, 2017   – 11 a.m.

On Thursday, February 23, 2017 from 8:30 a.m. until 10 a.m., the Sarasota Police Department will host Coffee with a Cop at Starbucks, 1401 First Street, Sarasota. 

Officers and community members will come together in an informal, neutral space to discuss community issues, build relationships and drink coffee.  Members of the public and media are invited.  Coffee with a Cop provides a unique opportunity for community members to ask questions and learn more about the Sarasota Police Department’s work in the City of Sarasota’s neighborhoods.

The majority of contacts law enforcement has with the public happen during emergencies or emotional situations.  Those situations are not always the most effective times for relationship building with the community and some community members may feel that Officers are unapproachable on the street.  Coffee with a Cop breaks down barriers and allows for a relaxed, one-on-one interaction.

Coffee with a Cop is a national initiative supported by The United States Department of Justice, Office of Community Oriented Policing Services. Similar events are being held across the county, as local police departments strive to make lasting connections with the communities they serve.

The program aims to advance the practice of community policing through improving relationships between police officers and community members one cup of coffee at a time.  The Sarasota Police Department began holding Coffee with a Cop events in February 2014.

Tiny Hands Foundation to donate 700 teddy bears to the Sarasota Police Department

SARASOTA, FL. – February 14, 2017   – 9 a.m.

The Tiny Hands Foundation of Sarasota and Manatee Counties will be donating at least 700 new teddy bears to the Sarasota Police Department.  A donation of 500 teddy bears was made in 2015 and that video can be found at https://youtu.be/9wcptMKckwM

Members of the media are invited to attend the donation on Friday, February 17, 2017 at 2 p.m. at the Sarasota Police Department, 2099 Adams Lane, Sarasota.  Chief Bernadette DiPino will accept the bears from Rod Khleif of the Tiny Hands Foundation.

The new teddy bear “officers” will ride with Sarasota Police officers and will be given out to help comfort children they encounter that may be in distress.  “When children are involved in a traumatic situation, it’s nice for our Officers to provide them with a cuddly stuffed bear to help comfort them,” said Sarasota Police Chief Bernadette DiPino.  “This is a great opportunity for the Sarasota Police Department to continue to partner with our community.  These teddy bears will help children in our community know that we’re here to help them.”

“We are excited to once again bring the ‘Teddy Bear Brigade’ and provide ‘Officer Teddy Bears’ to patrol with our Sarasota Police Officers.  They’ll be given out to children Officers encounter that may be in distress.  If one of these teddy bears comforts, consoles or eases the pain of a single child that is experiencing trauma, then our goal has been met,” said Rod Khleif, Founder and President, Tiny Hands Foundation.

Attempt to Identify Credit Card Fraud Suspect

SARASOTA, FL – February 10, 2017   – 11:30 a.m.

Detectives with the Sarasota Police Department are attempting to identify a credit card fraud suspect who was caught on camera multiple times throughout 2016 using stolen credit cards in the City of Sarasota.

In recent weeks, multiple detectives have learned the same suspect was caught on camera using a stolen or skimmed credit card in April 2016, May 2016 and December 2016.  Video from April, May and December can be found at https://youtu.be/B3hYpBmHgfw   Detectives have reason to believe the suspect is still in the area and may still be using stolen credit cards.

Detectives suggest the following safety tips to keep your personal and banking information safe:

·       Check and monitor banking accounts for fraudulent activity

·       Businesses should check identification of credit card users

·       Shred receipts, bank statements and similar documents no longer needed

·       Limit what you carry when you go out.  Take only the identification, credit and debit cards needed

·       Report all suspicious activity to local law enforcement

Anyone with information on this case, please call Detective Dan Riley at 941-954-7062 or leave an anonymous tip with Crime Stoppers by calling 941-366-TIPS or online at www.sarasotacrimestoppers.com

Attempt to Identify Armed Robbery Suspect

SARASOTA, FL. – February 8, 2017   – 3 p.m.

Detectives with the Sarasota Police Department are attempting to identify an armed robbery suspect who showed a firearm and demanded cash at Family Dollar, 240 North Lime, Sarasota, at approximately 9:15 p.m. last night, Tuesday, February 7, 2017.  Video can be seen at https://youtu.be/s92S3km7mBA

The suspect, who is described as a white male, thin build, last seen wearing dark clothing, sunglasses, dark mask and light colored shoes, displayed a black revolver with a wooden handle to a store clerk and demanded money.  The employee, who was not injured, gave the suspect an unknown amount of cash and the suspect then fled on foot.

Anyone with information on this case, please call Detective Maria Llovio at 941-364-7336 or leave an anonymous tip with Crime Stoppers by calling 941-366-TIPS or online at www.sarasotacrimestoppers.com

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Convicted felon arrested with loaded pistol after running from Sarasota Police Officers

SARASOTA, FL. – February 6, 2017   – 1:30 p.m.

Today, Monday, February 6, 2017, Sarasota Police officers responded to the area of 25th Street and North Orange Avenue, Sarasota, at approximately 3 a.m., in reference to a report of a man shooting a gun.  When officers arrived, they found Natron Sellers, 19, of 2339 Lockwood Meadows Circle, Sarasota, walking eastbound on 25th Street and holding his waist band with his right hand. 

Officers told Sellers to stop but he fled westbound on 25th Street and then ran southbound on Leon Avenue.  Additional officers located Sellers on Leon Avenue and told him to stop and again Sellers ignored the commands and continued to flee.  Officers then observed Sellers pulling up his jacket with his left hand and pulled a black object out of his waistband with his right hand.

Officers found Sellers at 2424 Leon Avenue standing in the rear of a Toyota truck.  Officers located a black, Kel Tec, .380 pistol underneath the truck.  The pistol was loaded with a round in the chamber and one round left in the magazine.

Sellers, who is a convicted felon, has been charged with possession of a firearm by a convicted felon (felony), possession of ammunition by a convicted felon (felony), and resisting law enforcement without violence (misdemeanor).  Sellers was transported to the Sarasota County Jail where he is currently being held on a $15,500 bond.

Natron Sellers, 19

Natron Sellers, 19