SARASOTA, FL – April 23, 2018 – 10:30 a.m.
Lazaro A. Rodriguez, 57, of Sarasota, has been arrested and charged with multiple counts of dealing in stolen property and possession of a controlled substance following a 2-month investigation. During their investigation, Sarasota Police Detectives recovered stolen property from 12 different burglary cases, totaling more than 65 items from 11 separate victims.
In February and March 2018, business employees at Southwest Concrete and Masonry, 921 North Lime Avenue, Sarasota, reported four (4) separate burglaries to their business where various construction tools were stolen (dates of burglaries: February 24, 2018, March 4, 2018 and March 6, 2018)
Between March 12, 2018 and March 19, 2018, additional construction businesses reported burglaries to their businesses and vehicles. Again, various construction tools including concrete saws, jack hammers, miter saws and impact sockets were stolen.
On March 19, 2018, using covert surveillance equipment, Sarasota Police Detectives were notified that a concrete saw belonging to Southwest Concrete and Masonry was in the process of being stolen. Surveillance was set up immediately by detectives who found that the saw had been transported to Extra Space Storage, 2255 North Washington Boulevard, Sarasota.
Detectives arrived at a storage unit and located Rodriguez moving items back and forth between a truck and the storage unit, including two concrete saws. Detectives observed multiple tools and lawn equipment in the storage unit as Rodriquez was present. Rodriguez was placed into custody and taken to Sarasota Police Headquarters for questioning.
A search warrant was conducted on March 20, 2018 and detectives discovered more than $100,000 in stolen construction tools and lawn equipment. Video from the search warrant can be found at https://youtu.be/y5o4iPpsGAs
During the execution of the search warrant of the vehicle operated by Rodriguez, a plastic bottle containing several pieces of cocaine was discovered= and $3,452 in U.S. currency. Due to Detectives’ observations and knowledge of narcotic activity and sales, the cash is believed to be proceeds from narcotic sales and was taken as evidence.
Rodriguez has been charged with:
- Dealing in Stolen Property (felony)
- Organized Dealing in Stolen Property (felony)
- Possession of Controlled Substance (cocaine) with intent to sell (felony)
Sarasota Police Detectives are also searching for Ricardo J. Ruiz, DOB 10-25-1986. He’s wanted in connection to this case for supplying stolen property from the various burglaries reported above. Anyone with information on the whereabouts of Ruiz is asked to call Detective Luis Paris at 941-363-5830 or leave an anonymous tip with Crime Stoppers by calling 941-366-TIPS or online at www.sarasotacrimestoppers.com