NewsSarasota, Manatee County


Crowbar wielding burglar breaks into several homes in Sarasota County

Deputies need help identifying person of interest
Posted at 5:23 PM, May 07, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-07 17:27:57-04

SARASOTA Co., Fla. – Deputies need your help to identify a person of interest who may know more about a series of burglaries in Venice.

Retiree Keith Joos had just come back from having breakfast when he noticed something off. The side door leading into his garage was open. When he looked closer he immediately noticed the door frame was busted and the deadbolt was broken off and lying on the ground.

Joos' home is one of four the Sarasota County Sheriff's Office says a burglar broke into using a crowbar.

“He broke the frame off here as well and at that point, I just backed out and called the police," said Joos.

Deputies say the criminal hit the Village Run and Chestnut Creek communities in late April.

“I don’t know, unemployment is 3%, everybody should get a job if they want a job. Obviously, some people don’t want a job," he said.

Detectives want you to take a look at surveillance stills of a man and a 2018 gray or silver Nissan Altima. Cameras captured both around the same time of the burglaries. So far, the man is considered a person of interest.

Joos says after breaking his doors, neighbors actually spotted the burglar walking away calmly. The burglar also left using one of his belongings that only added insult to injury.

“He just walked between the houses with a white bag, well, the white bag was my pillowcase full of the goods he had taken," he said.

Altogether he took off with more than $5,000 worth of stolen items including a brand new laptop, iPad and jewelry.

“There were some irreplaceable things. In that a great grandfather signet ring for me and an old pocket watch," said Joos.

Before the break in Joos thought his home was fairly secure against burglary.

“Stay home and have a Canon available that’s all," advised Joos laughing, "That’s the only real solution. The house was locked up, the house has secure windows and doors but there’s always a way to get in if you have the opportunity.”

He’s since made some upgrades including installing a home surveillance system. You can also make some easy improvements.

Consider adding motion sensor floodlights. Make sure to keep your doors and cars locked and shrubs trimmed down. Reinforcing windows and doors can add another layer of security.

Anyone with information regarding the burglaries, person or vehicle of interest, is asked to contact the Criminal Investigations Section at 941.861.4915 or submit an anonymous tip through Crime Stoppers of Sarasota at 941.366.TIPS.