NEWS RELEASE 19-101
The Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office arrested 14 people during a three-day operation targeting retail theft in Sarasota County.
During the operation, deputies focused on retail corridors in Sarasota and 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.
While conducting the operation, deputies arrested Sarasota resident Matthew Simpson for possession of crack cocaine, heroin, and drug paraphernalia. At the time of his arrest, Simpson was out of jail on bond for a home invasion robbery earlier this month where he forced his way through the front door of a victim’s home, demanded money, and threatened the victim with a baseball bat. Now facing new charges, Simpson remains in custody today at the Sarasota County Jail without bond.
“It is concerning to me that despite the amount of proactive enforcement we conduct, criminals still think they can prey on local retailers,” commented Sheriff Tom Knight. “Our deputies commonly saturate heavily populated commercial areas thanks to our established partnerships with the retail community, but it doesn’t seem to matter. It is sad but true that many of these crimes are fueled by other issues like addiction.”
In total, deputies made 14 arrests and filed 20 charges. In total, those arrested have 59 prior charges and 26 prior convictions. In addition to those arrested, three people, including two juveniles, were issued criminal citations. One juvenile was charged with misdemeanor Theft.
- Yevgeniy Adzhiderskiy, DOB 08/24/85, of 1004 Joyce Court, Venice, is charged with one count of Petit Theft.
- Luis Alarcon-Leal, DOB 03/24/97, of 2979 Ashland Lane South, Kissimmee, is charged with one count of Petit Theft.
- Jessica Allen, DOB 08/16/75, of 4001 Beneva Road, Unit 405, Sarasota, is charged with one count of Petit Theft.
- Lacie Alligood, DOB 11/24/94, of 120 Sunnyside Drive, Venice, is charged with one count of Possession of a Controlled Substance.
- Kara Gehrke, DOB 11/25/84, of 4001 Beneva Road, Unit 405, Sarasota, is charged with one count of Petit Theft.
- Jaymes Jordan, DOB 02/24/90, of 1400 Colonia Lane East, Nokomis, is charged with Possession of a Controlled Substance, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia and Violation of Probation.
- Esteban Leal, DOB 05/22/97, of 2979 Ashland Lane South, Kissimmee, is charged with one count of Petit Theft.
- Elizabeth Simpson, DOB 11/24/90, of 926 Cronley Place, Apt D, Sarasota, is charged with four counts of Drug Possession.
- Matthew Simpson, DOB 08/01/85, of 926 Cronley Place, Apt D, Sarasota, is charged with two counts of Drug Possession and one count of Possession of Drug Paraphernalia.
- Andrew St. Louis, DOB 04/21/00, of 1165 Palm View Road, Sarasota, is charged with False Identification Given to a Law Enforcement Officer and Petit Theft.
- John Tucker, DOB 12/01/80, of 310 Montgomery Avenue, Sarasota, is charged with Violation of Probation.
- Charles Wemette, DOB 08/18/66, of 1718 49th Avenue East, Bradenton, is charged with Petit Theft.
- Joshua Wirick, DOB 06/25/81, of 330 Ortiz Boulevard, North Port, is charged with Driving While License Suspended and Violation of Probation.
This operation utilized the Tactical, Intelligence, and Crime Analysis Units. To date, retail theft operations have resulted in more than 215 arrests.