Suspect sought in Cherokee Park construction site theft

Sarasota Police Department seeking public’s assistance

This is a still from a Ring video, showing the potential suspect in the Cherokee Park incident. Image courtesy Sarasota Police Department

 The Sarasota Police Department is seeking the public’s assistance in identifying a possible suspect captured on surveillance video in the Cherokee Park area, where an alleged theft occurred in late December 2023, the agency announced on Jan. 12.

Detectives believe that a man shown in a Ring doorbell video took a Graco 390 paint sprayer, valued at $1,500, from a construction site at 1526 South Drive in Sarasota, according to the redacted incident report. The victim told an officer that the burglary occurred between 3:30 p.m. on Dec. 28, 2023, and 1 p.m. on Dec. 29, 2023.

The suspect potentially could be charged with burglary of an unoccupied dwelling and theft from a construction site, according to the report.

Construction foreman Josef Cervenak said that he had secured the sprayer to a cable and that he had a lock on the cable, the report pointed out. Moreover, Cervenak added, the cable “was secured around a large toolbox,” the report continued.

“The sprayer has #44 written on it,” the report noted.

The red balloon marks the site of the alleged theft. Image from Google Maps

Although Cervenak told an officer that he closes the garage door as he prepares to leave the site each day, he is unable to lock the door, the report added. The side doors of the garage also are shut, Cervenak noted, but, as with the garage door, he is unable to lock them.

While the officer was on the scene, the report continued, the homeowner arrived. He told the officer that the rest of the property “appeared fine.”

The officer was able to collect latent fingerprints from a side door of the garage, the report said.

In an email late in the afternoon of Jan. 18, Cynthia McLaughlin, the public information officer for the Police Department, told The Sarasota News Leader that she had not learned of any new developments in the investigation.

Anyone with information related to this case is asked to call the Sarasota Police Department’s Criminal Investigations Division at 941-263-6070, leave an anonymous tip with Crime Stoppers by calling 941-366-TIPS or go online at