The Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office arrested 15 people in a three-day operation targeting retail theft in Sarasota County.
During the operation, deputies focused on retail corridors in Sarasota as well as South Tamiami Trail in Venice. The unique public-private partnership between the sheriff’s office and local retailers began in 2013 with the goal of working together to curb retail theft.
Of particular note is the arrest of a Venice woman who used a stolen credit card to make several purchases in south Sarasota County only a few hours after stealing an acquaintance’s credit card from her home. Also of interest is the arrest of Jesse Fleming, a convicted felon with 79 prior felony charges and 27 prior felony convictions. Jesse is the brother of Luke Fleming, arrested in September for the 1999 murder of Deborah Dalzell. Several of the arrests made were related to drug charges.
“These retail operations are part of our intelligence-led policing model,” said Sheriff Tom Knight. “Based on crime analysis, we can look at hotspots and deploy resources during these maintenance-type initiatives. Our goal was to not only assist local businesses but also to send a message to criminals that retail crime will not be tolerated in this community.”
In total, deputies made 15 arrests and filed 31 charges. Altogether, these criminals have 371 prior charges and 142 prior convictions.
- Denise Kuegler, DOB 12/28/55, of 410 Salt Meadow Cir, Unit #105, Bradenton, issued a summons for Petit Theft.
- Richard Callahan, DOB 05/26/85, of 4506 53rd Ave. E., Bradenton, charged with Possession of Narcotic Equipment.
- Stephen King, DOB 07/03/83, of 3172 Port Charlotte Blvd., Port CHarlotte,, charged with Possession of a controlled Substance without a Prescription.
- Dominick Ciari, DOB 01/02/75, of 701 17th St. W, Bradenton, charged with Possession of Methamphetamine.
- Andrew Eubanks, DOB 08/13/79, of 4474 McIntosh Park Dr., Unit #1507, Sarasota, charged with Child Abuse, Fleeing to Elude, Driving While License Suspended Third or Subsequent Offense, Possession of Narcotic Equipment, and Violation of Probation.
- Brittany Dietzen, DOB 11/24/88, of 4474 McIntosh Park Dr., Sarasota, charged with Possession of Cocaine, Possession of Marijuana, and Contempt of Court.
- Jesse Fleming, DOB 05/21/81, of 5185 Magnolia Pond Dr., Sarasota, charged with Petit Theft: Third or Subsequent Offense and Resisting an Officer without Violence.
- Brittany Ellis, DOB 08/23/88, of 3738 Sharondale Rd., Sarasota, charged with Petit Theft.
- Jason Fretz, DOB 04/16/90, of 3738 Sharondale Rd., Sarasota, charged with Petit Theft.
- Anthony Aurelien, DOB 08/10/95, of 940 S. Allendale Ave., Sarasota, charged with Driving While License Suspended Third or Subsequent Offense, Possession of Marijuana, and Violation of Probation.
- Chad Wickersham, DOB 08/03/87, of 4767 E 257th St., Myakka City, charged with Petit Theft: Third or Subsequent Offense, Dealing in Stolen Property, and two warrants for Fraud out of Sarasota County and Petit Theft out of Manatee County.
- Linda Busch, DOB 01/22/47, of 1771 Gale St., Englewood, charged with Petit Theft.
- Suzanne Kehoe, DOB 03/02/66, of 110 E. Colonia Lane, Nokomis, charged with Petit Theft: Third or Subsequent Offense and Resisting a Retail Merchant.
- Grace Zelazney, DOB 07/12/87, of 719 Kimball Rd., Venice, charged with four counts of Fraudulent Use of Personal Identification, Theft of a Credit Card, and Grand Theft Under 300 Dollars.
- Sherry Allaire, DOB 09/04/50, of 202 S. River Blvd Nokomis, issued a summons for Petit Theft.
This operation utilized the Tactical, Intelligence, and Crime Analysis Units. To date, retail theft operations have resulted in more than 200 arrests. The Tactical Unit has identified additional suspects and more charges are pending.