15 people arrested, accused of stealing from stores in Sarasota County

15 people arrested in a three-day operation in Sarasota County targeting retail theft

SARASOTA, FL (WWSB) - The Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office arrested 15 people in a three-day operation targeting retail theft in Sarasota County.

Local retail stores sparked a public-private partnership with the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office in 2013 to decrease retail theft, which lead to the arrests, according to a release from the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office.

During the operation, deputies focused on retail corridors in Sarasota as well as South Tamiami Trail in Venice. Two arrests were noted in the press release that stuck out to the Sheriff’s Office.

Grace Zelazney, a Venice woman, was arrested for allegedly using 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, according to the release.

Jesse Fleming, of Sarasota is recorded as 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 in the release." Based on crime analysis, the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office has the ability to 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, the criminals have 371 prior charges and 142 prior convictions, according to the release.

  • Denise Kuegler, DOB 12/28/55, of Bradenton, issued a summons for Petit Theft.
  • Richard Callahan, DOB 05/26/85, of Bradenton, charged with Possession of Narcotic Equipment.
  • Stephen King, DOB 07/03/83, of Port Charlotte,, charged with Possession of a controlled Substance without a Prescription.
  • Dominick Ciari, DOB 01/02/75, of Bradenton, charged with Possession of Methamphetamine.
  • Andrew Eubanks, DOB 08/13/79, of 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 Sarasota, charged with Possession of Cocaine, Possession of Marijuana, and Contempt of Court.
  • Jesse Fleming, DOB 05/21/81, of Sarasota, charged with Petit Theft: Third or Subsequent Offense and Resisting an Officer without Violence.
  • Brittany Ellis, DOB 08/23/88, of Sarasota, charged with Petit Theft.
  • Jason Fretz, DOB 04/16/90, of Sarasota, charged with Petit Theft.
  • Anthony Aurelien, DOB 08/10/95, of 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 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 Englewood, charged with Petit Theft.
  • Suzanne Kehoe, DOB 03/02/66, of Nokomis, charged with Petit Theft: Third or Subsequent Offense and Resisting a Retail Merchant.
  • Grace Zelazney, DOB 07/12/87, of 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 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.

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