Crime Prevention

Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office


“TRAVELER ALERT”  Each year at this time, Sarasota County welcomes back its part-time, winter residents. Unfortunately, this time of year also brings the return of a group of criminals known as the “gypsies” or “travelers.”  These criminals prey on unsuspecting victims through the use of home repair scams and burglaries.

In an effort to reduce this type of crime, we are alerting our citizen patrol areas and gated communities of this potential threat.  Be on the lookout for suspicious people and vehicles on the streets of your community.  “Travelers” are known for entering homes that are left unsecured.  Make sure that all doors are locked and garage doors are kept in the down position,  even if you are working in the yard or away from home for a short period of time.   “Travelers” will sometimes be well-dressed women who, when approached, will advise they are looking for their dog, are interested in buying a home in the area, or are lost.  They could have a foreign accent and may appear to be from an Eastern European county.

Remember, burglaries and scams are crimes of opportunity.  You must do everything possible to reduce the opportunity for crime to happen.  report any suspicious persons or activity in your community to the Sheriff’s Office immediately.  If you see a crime in progress, call 911.  To report suspicious activity, call 316-1201.  No one knows the community better than the people who live there.  You, as resident, are the first line of defense against criminal activity.  Do not be lulled into a false sense of security because of a gate or gate guard.  Criminals can gain access to your subdivision through other areas of the perimeter.  SEE IT!  HEAR IT!  REPORT IT!  Help make Sarasota County Safe and secure for all its residents.