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Rifle, ammo thefts lead Sarasota police and NAACP to reschedule community meeting

Posted at 12:43 PM, Jul 14, 2016
The theft of two rifles and large amounts of ammunition Wednesday in Sarasota led law enforcement and the NAACP to reschedule a community meeting to discuss police relations.
 
An AK-47 with 1,000 rounds of ammunition were stolen in one burglary and, in a separate case, an AR-7 and 700 rounds were stolen in another burglary, according to Sarasota Police Department.
 
Detectives have strong leads in the AR-7 case, but they still need information from the public.
 
“I couldn’t feel comfortable knowing that an AK-7 with a 1,000 rounds was on our streets in close proximity to where the meeting was to take place,” Police Chief Bernadette DiPino said at a news conference Thursday. 
 
The community meeting has been rescheduled for 6:30 p.m. July 25 at the Robert L. Taylor Community Complex at 1845 34th St. in Sarasota.
 
DiPino said the complex will better accommodate the number of people expected to attend.
 
“We’re more than willing and I was looking forward to having an open dialogue with the citizens of our community,” DiPino said.
 
She said 14 firearms have been stolen this year in Sarasota from unlocked homes and unlocked cars.
 
“I encourage and I think it should be mandatory that people have gun safes in their house and that they don’t leave weapons in their car whether it’s locked or unlocked,” she said.
 
If you have information on the stolen weapons, contact a detective handling the case at 941-650-1437 or Crime Stoppers of Sarasota County at 941-366-8477.