Sarasota Police Arrest Man for Armed Home Invasion & Armed Sexual Battery

SARASOTA, Fla. – May 21, 2015 – 10:30 a.m.

On Wednesday, Herbert Earl Stilley, III, 27, of Sarasota, was arrested and taken into custody in the 2100 block of Dixie Avenue in Sarasota. Stilley was wanted on charges of Felony Armed Home Invasion and Felony Armed Sexual Battery in connection to an incident that occurred in February 2015.

On February 10, 2015 at approximately 2 a.m., a female reported being the victim of an armed home invasion and armed sexual battery. The crime happened at the victim’s home. The victim told Officers she was sitting at home with her husband when Stilley entered her home with a small firearm and pointed the firearm at the victim’s face and demanded her phone. Her husband was outside at the time. Stilley then asked "Where is the money?" Both the victim and her husband are deaf but can read lips. The couple’s children were asleep in a nearby bedroom.

In fear for children’s safety, the victim took Stilley back to her bedroom and gave Stilley her purse. Stilley then sexually battered the victim. Due to Stilley having a firearm and being in fear, the victim did not resist. Following the incident, Stilley ran out of the bedroom and was chased out of the home by the victim’s husband.

Sarasota Police Officers have been actively working on this investigation since February and based on newly received DNA evidence, a warrant was issued for Stilley’s arrest. Stilley was arrested on Wednesday morning and charged with Felony Armed Home Invasion and Felony Armed Sexual Battery. He remains in the Sarasota County Jail without bond.

Herbert Earl Stilley, III, 27, of Sarasota, was arrested and taken into custody in the 2100 block of Dixie Avenue in Sarasota.  Stilley was wanted on charges of Felony Armed Home Invasion and Felony Armed Sexual Battery in connection to an incident that occurred in February 2015.

Herbert Earl Stilley, III, 27, of Sarasota, was arrested and taken into custody in the 2100 block of Dixie Avenue in Sarasota.  Stilley was wanted on charges of Felony Armed Home Invasion and Felony Armed Sexual Battery in connection to an incident that occurred in February 2015.

Boating Safety Event Set for Saturday, May 23, 2015 from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.

SARASOTA, Fla. – May 20, 2015 – 11:30 a.m.

On Saturday, May 23, 2015 from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m., the Sarasota Police Department and the Civilian Volunteer Marine Program will team up with the United States Coast Guard Flotilla 84, Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office, Longboat Key Police Department and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission for an Interagency Boating Safety Inspection Day at Centennial Park, 1059 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota (also known as the 10th Street Boat Ramp).

"According to the United States Coast Guard, each year, hundreds of lives are lost, thousands are injured and millions of dollars in property damage happens because of preventable recreational boating accidents on our waterways. The Sarasota Police Department wants everyone to have a safe boating season," said Captain Kevin Stiff, Patrol Division.

Families enjoying the Memorial Day weekend may head out for a day on a boat that has seen very little use during the winter. In the excitement of the holiday weekend, safety equipment checks are often overlooked. Families may later find themselves without the necessary equipment in an emergency or be upset when they are cited for violations for local law enforcement.

As boats make their way to the 10th Street Boat Ramp, officers will perform safety inspections and answer any questions. Boats in full compliance will be given a 2015 Multi-Agency sticker that can be displayed while on the water.

Conversations continue in North Sarasota with business owners and residents

SARASOTA, Fla. – May 19, 2015 – 1:30 p.m.

On Wednesday, May 20, 2015 at 6 p.m. at the Robert L. Taylor Community Center, 1845 34th Street, Sarasota, Police Chief Bernadette DiPino along with members of the Sarasota Police Department will hold another neighborhood and community meeting called ‘New Beginnings II,’ for business owners and residents in North Sarasota.

The meeting is another opportunity to have an open discussion about Community Orientated Policing and quality of life issues. This meeting is a continuation from several other neighborhood meetings which were held in July 2014, September 2014 and January 2015.

‘New Beginnings II’ is an update of a previous initiative, ‘A New Beginning for Newtown.’ This initiative is a chance to bring police and the community together to address crime, fear of crime and relationship building.

"These meetings are a chance to continue the conversation about public and officer safety. We will continue to work together to keep our community safe, build relationships and trust and partner with our community to keep Sarasota a safe place to live, work and play," said Chief Bernadette DiPino.

Residents, community members, business owners and media are invited to attend the meeting on May 20, 2015 at 6 p.m.

2015 Memorial Day Parade Road Closures & Holiday Safety Reminders

SARASOTA, Fla. – May 19, 2015 – 8 a.m.

The Memorial Day Parade will be held on Monday, May 25, 2015 starting at 10 a.m. at Main Street and Osprey Avenue in downtown Sarasota. There will be several tow away zones and street closure notices will be in place for the following times:

Monday, May 25, 2015 Street Closures:

• 6 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. – Gulfstream Avenue from Cocoanut Avenue to McAnsh Square

• 8 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. – Main Street from U.S. 301 to Gulfstream Avenue

• 8 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. – Links Avenue from Fruitville Road to Ringling Boulevard

• 8 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. – Osprey Avenue from Fruitville Road to Ringling Boulevard

Vehicles not removed by the posted time will be towed at the owner’s expense. For information on towed vehicles, please call Upman’s Towing at 941-365-7084.

The Memorial Day holiday weekend begins on Friday. The National Safety Council estimates 383 traffic fatalities and another 46,300 medically consulted injuries may happen over the traditional summer kick-off weekend from motor vehicle crashes.

The Sarasota Police Department is reminding drivers to slow down, buckle up and drive safely. Currently the Sarasota Police Department is joining law enforcement from around the country for ‘Click It or Ticket’ through May 31, 2015. In Florida, all motorists are required to wear a seat belt when riding in the front seat and passengers under the age of 18 must use proper seat restraints. When traveling this weekend, remember these safety tips:

• Reduce your speed. More speeding-related fatalities happen during the summer months than any other time of the year.

• Refrain from using cell phones or devices when driving.

• Designate a sober driver or take alternate transportation if you consume alcohol.

• Drive defensively and exercise caution, especially during bad weather.

Man arrested in Sarasota after breaking into home and falling asleep on couch

SARASOTA, Fla. – May 18, 2015 – 11 a.m.

A Sarasota man has been charged with felony burglary of an occupied dwelling after breaking into a home in Sarasota and falling asleep on the couch over the weekend.

Sarasota Police Officers responded to the 3400 block of Tallywood Lane in Sarasota at approximately 8 a.m. Saturday. The victim told Officers she woke up around 7:20 a.m. and found Timothy Bontrager, 29, sleeping on her living room couch. When the victim asked him who he was and what he was doing in her house, he apologized. The victim told Bontrager she was calling the police at which time he started walking around the living room and then left the house.

When Officers arrived, the victim gave a description and stated Bontrager entered through an unlocked sliding glass door in the rear of the house. While speaking with Officers, the victim noticed her wallet, driver’s license, credit and debit cards as well as personal checks made out of Bontrager missing from the table in the living room.

A short time later, Officers observed a subject walking southbound on Beneva Road match the description the victim had given Officers. Officers transported the victim to the location where she positively identified Bontrager. Bontrager was transported to the Sarasota County Jail.

  Timothy Bontrager has been charged with felony burglary of an occupied dwelling after breaking into a home in Sarasota and falling asleep on the couch over the weekend.

 

Timothy Bontrager has been charged with felony burglary of an occupied dwelling after breaking into a home in Sarasota and falling asleep on the couch over the weekend.

Sarasota Police Attempting to Identify Shoplifting Suspect Caught on Camera

SARASOTA, Fla. – May 13, 2015 – 9:45 a.m.

Detectives with the Sarasota Police Department are asking for the public’s help in identifying a shoplifting suspect who was caught on camera stealing several pairs of sunglasses from Lenscrafters, 3501 South Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, on May 8, 2015 between 9:30 a.m. and 10 a.m.

The suspect walked into the store with a little girl, approximately 7 years old, wearing a sun dress. The suspect is approximately 5’10", medium build, short, spiked gray hair and clean shaven. He was last seen wearing a red and black polo shirt with dark khaki pants.

The suspect is seen on camera, walking into the store with the little girl and then is seen walking over to the children glasses before walking over to the adult glasses. The suspect is seen selecting several pairs of sunglasses, placing them in the pockets of his pants and concealing them from plain view. The suspect and the little girl then leave the store.

Anyone with information is encouraged to call Detective Kim Laster at 941-364-7327 or leave an anonymous tip with Crime Stoppers by calling 941-366-TIPS (8477) or online at www.sarasotacrimestoppers.com