Updated: Jun 29, 2019
Sarasota County Sheriff Tom Knight is issuing a warning about traveling thieves that come to Florida in winter months solely to take advantage of unsuspecting citizens.
Every year, criminals travel to the state of Florida to commit crimes of theft, burglary and fraud. Unfortunately, Sarasota County is not immune to their scams. The organized groups often pass down their "trade" from generation to generation and rarely leave evidence behind. They are also good at blending in, which is why citizens need to be vigilant about who is in their neighborhood.
"The key to stopping these criminals is to call law enforcement when you see someone or something that looks suspicious," said Sheriff Knight. "A deputy can determine their reason for being in the community Valerie McCarthy, President and whether it's legitimate, before a crime occurs."
Sarasota County has mostly seen unoccupied burglaries, which often occur right after residents leave so that means suspects are watching their victims drive off. Always set your home security alarm if you have one, even for short trips, and keep doors and windows locked. If you see something suspicious get a good physical description, the vehicle description and a tag number if possible and call 911.
To help educate citizens about the risk posed by these organized groups, the Sarasota County Sheriff's Office created an informational web page and video so residents know what to look, what to do to protect themselves and their neighbors and how the agency is working to combat these crimes.
For more information visit www.SarasotaSheriff.org and under Crime Prevention click Traveling Thieves. The educational video can be found as well on the agency's YouTube channel, www.youtube.com/user/SarasotaSheriff.