Shoplifting Incident Yields Felony Drug and Weapon Arrests

NEWS RELEASE #17-152 - JUNE 29, 2017

Dryburgh, Jonathon       Smith, Aaron      Cocroft, Jermain

Dryburgh                                                                                     Smith                                                                                                  Cocroft

The Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office arrested two men and a teen from Ellenton after a shoplifting incident led deputies to the discovery of firearms, ammunition and drugs.

Deputies were called to Saks Fifth Avenue at the Mall at University Town Center in Sarasota on Wednesday evening just before 6:30 p.m., for reports of shoplifting. When deputies arrived, loss prevention officers identified Jonathon Dryburgh, DOB 02/24/94, as the suspect who stole a pair of sunglasses. As deputies took Dryburgh into custody, they received a report of another theft in which an employee’s phone was stolen. Responding deputies apprehended Aaron Smith, DOB 02/03/94, and Jermaine Cocroft, DOB 11/06/00, as they attempted to flee the store.

Through investigation, deputies recovered surveillance video which captured Smith taking the employee’s cell phone and revealed that Cocroft was wearing a backpack prior to his apprehension. Deputies retraced Cocroft’s steps where they recovered the backpack containing a loaded handgun reported stolen out of Manatee County, prescription pills, marijuana, and various drug paraphernalia.

After learning that all three suspects travelled together in Dryburgh’s vehicle, deputies searched the car to find several pairs of new sunglasses, three GPS units, two loaded syringes, drug paraphernalia, several rounds of ammunition, and a loaded Hi Point .45 carbine with the serial number filed off. All three were arrested and booked into the Sarasota County Jail.

Dryburgh is charged with two counts of Possession of a Weapon or Ammo by a Convicted Felon, Removing the Serial Number from a Firearm and Theft. He is a 13-time convicted felon and was just released from prison in March. He remains in custody today on $18,000 bond.

Cocroft is charged with Carrying a Concealed Weapon, Displaying a Weapon During a Felony, two counts of Possession of a Controlled Substance without a Prescription, Possession of Marijuana, Possession of Narcotic Equipment, and Theft. He was released to the custody of the Department of Juvenile Justice.

Smith is charged with Theft. He remains in custody on $1,500 bond.

The investigation continues.