ABC 7 rides along with police busting panhandlers

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Posted: Monday, April 29, 2013 3:32 pm | Updated: 11:47 am, Wed Nov 12, 2014.

SARASOTA - ABC 7 rode along with Sarasota Police to see if the new ordinance cracking down on panhandlers at intersections is working.

The usual intersections were clear Monday.  Officer Jaime Delcos eventually saw a man holding a sign near the road at Fruitville Road  and Tuttle Avenue. When a driver gave him change, she moved in fast.

On this first day of the new law, Delcos just gave the man a warning -- but still took his picture, sign in hand, in case he does it again.

Minutes later on U.S. 301, Officer Delcos saw another person -- this time a woman -- standing in the median holding a sign.  The officer waited a block away until a passing driver gave her money.

Delcos again moved in fast. After she reluctantly smiled for the camera and police went away, not much changed in that area.

As we drove away, the woman went back on the intersection with her sign. How did that make the officer feel having just passed out a warning?

"A little bit insulting, but someone will be up there later today, and if she is there--it won't be a warning," Officer Delcos said.

Beyond the warning, police can issue a 'notice to appear in court,' or a ride directly to the county jail.

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