Man Arrested in Connection with Lake Sarasota Car Burglaries

NEWS RELEASE #: 16-230

The Sarasota County Sheriff's Office arrested a Sarasota man Wednesday after connecting him with a series of car burglaries in the Lake Sarasota area.

Deputies were initially called to a home in the 6500 block of Tarawa Drive around 8:00 a.m., on Wednesday, for the report of a car burglary. According to the victim, several personal items and electronics were stolen from her vehicle. As detectives began their investigation, a family member of 18-year-old Michael Churchfield contacted law enforcement to report the discovery of several miscellaneous and possibly stolen items, inside Churchfield's home. When detectives responded to Churchfield's house, they recovered a few dozen items including a credit card with the victim's name on it as well as a GPS. Detectives used the "home" button on the GPS to track the stolen device back to its owner, who also lived on Tarawa Drive. When they made contact with him, the unsuspecting victim checked his two vehicles and confirmed a total of 22 other items missing.

Early Wednesday evening, patrol deputies located Churchfield in the area of Fruitville Road and Shade Avenue in Sarasota. As they were taking him into custody, deputies seized .1 gram of crack cocaine as well as a pipe hidden in Churchfield's body. Detectives charged Churchfield with three counts of Burglary, Possession of Crack Cocaine and Possession of Narcotics Equipment. He is currently being held at the Sarasota County jail on $6,500 bond. The investigation is ongoing and additional charges are pending. Detectives encourage anyone else who believes their vehicle may have been burglarized to contact the Criminal Investigations Section at 941.861.1089.
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