A sampling of police calls in Gulfport from September 3 to September 9.

Source: Gulfport Police Department


Raise Your Hat If You’re Sure!

September 3: A fedora-wearing man caught stuffing deodorant sticks into his pants at a store in the Save-a-Lot shopping plaza evaded arrest by running across Gulfport Boulevard. 

Stay in Your Lane, Dude

September 3: After work, Gulfport Police Officer Richard Bynum just wanted to go home. On his way, though, he spotted a truck in the turn lane at 7th Avenue South on 49th Street. The driver drove through the light and couldn’t confine his driving to one lane. As traffic parted around him, Office Bynum realized he might be late for dinner. He stopped the truck and called for backup. Gulfport Police Officer David Janovich showed up, asked the driver to blow into the breathalyzer, and promptly arrested one Andres Santiago for driving under the influence. Santiago blew .125/.127, well over the .08 legal limit. Police brought him to sleep it off at the Pinellas County Jail, which will likely be the costliest hotel room of Santiago’s life. 

Seriously, Though, Why Does It Take So Long to Get a Permit?

September 4: We get it, we do. Government bureaucracy can frustrate the most patient of folks, and we suspect Jesse Lee is no exception. When he went to Gulfport’s Building Department and learned he couldn’t apply in person for a garage sale permit (the city’s current COVID-19 rules prohibit paper applications,) he grew unhappy – enough for city employees to call the police. By the time the police arrived, Lee had left the building department and made it to city hall, where other employees called police over his unexplained yet apparently upsetting behavior there. Police Officer Edward Pope trespassed Lee. At that point, the police report tells us, Lee “became irate and began recording the encounter and threatening to call his lawyer.” He also told police he planned to violate the trespass, although he did not. 

Well, That’s One Way to Say “I Don’t Like This Haircut”

September 4: While waiting to turn into the parking lot where he worked, a barber shop employee stopped the northbound lane of 49th Street South near 9th Avenue. Someone driving a Jeep rear-ended the employee and kept going. Jerk.

Sticky Fingers

September 4: A woman caught stealing a glue gun from a store along the 5000 block of Gulfport Boulevard South received only a trespass warning when the store declined to press charges.

He Really Dislikes the Postmaster

September 5: Someone saw a car hit a mailbox at the 5900 block of Gulfport Boulevard South, and they called the police. Police found the car — and the driver — in South Pasadena. Turns out the driver wasn’t angry at the USPS, but having a medical issue. Police made sure the driver got to Palms of Pasadena Hospital for help. 

We Didn’t Even Know That Was a Thing

September 5: When Gulfport police stopped a man for what the officer thought would be a minor traffic violation, the officer ran the driver’s license and found that while the driver didn’t have a valid license, he did have a “habitual traffic offender” designation on his record. 

Worth the Paper It’s Written On

September 5: Gulfport police answered a call to help the St. Petersburg Police Department at a disturbance inside a home at the 5100 block of 17th Avenue South. The two agencies found Austin Evans, and when they ran a records check they learned that SPPD had probable cause to arrest Evans for violating an injunction for domestic violence. They arrested him — the second arrest for him this year — but he bonded out. Hopefully he won’t violate that injunction again.

You’ve Got to Be Shedding Me

September 6: A Gulfport resident heard noise by the shed in their backyard on the 4900 block of 29th Avenue South. The resident saw a man cutting the locks, but the man fled when the resident yelled at him. The wanna-be burglar didn’t steal anything, but the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office sent a K-9 unit to try and find him anyway. While the dog didn’t immediately find the suspect, the pup did track the scent to the site of a second burglary at the 500 block of 31st Avenue South. While on site, police received another call, this time from the 5100 block of 30th Avenue South, where a man caught a burglar inside his shed. A man — possibly the same one, possibly not — had cut the lock and had started to steal tools. The man fled in a white Toyota Camry. While the police recovered the tools and bolt cutters, the man remains at large. 

Dispatches From The “Lock Your Valuables” Department

September 8: A resident on the 2400 block of Premier Street South in Gulfport not only left her 2016 Subaru Outback unlocked, she left her spare key fob inside the car. Someone stole it overnight, but the police found it in St. Petersburg and returned it to her.

September 8: A resident on the 1200 block of Royal Palm Drive South left his 2018 Chevy Traverse unlocked — with his wallet in the glove box. Sometime overnight someone opened the door, opened the glove box and took the wallet. The Pinellas County Sheriff reported similar burglaries across the street.

It’s Like $200 Was Lying on the Front Seat

September 9: Someone broke a car window on the 1200 block of Hull Street South. Why? Someone had left their Michael Kohrs bag on the front seat.

If You Won’t Lock Your Car, Please Bring Your Wallet Inside

September 9: Someone found a wallet at the crossroads of 64th Street South and 10th Avenue South and returned it to the owner, who said someone took it from an unlocked car at his house. The owner told police he saw a group of four teenagers walking in that neighborhood. Later that morning, surveillance video at the 1100 block of Gray Street South showed a group of four teenagers — perhaps the same ones — stealing Lotto tickets from a Ford F150 and hand sanitizer from a Mustang.

The Old “Try the Handle” Trick

September 9: A resident at the 2600 block of 59th Street South saw a group of kids trying the doors on cars in their condominium parking lot. The resident called the police, who located four of the kids (two other kids left the scene in a car). Police charged the four kids with loitering and prowling. The police report they’re still investigating the kids and that they may file more charges if the investigation continues.

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