DATE: April 16, 2015

SUBJECT: Early morning burglary leads to arrest

When a newspaper carrier got out of his car to deliver newspapers on foot, he noticed two men taking items from his vehicle. He chased them down and after getting into a physical altercation with them, the two men ran away.


Venice police officers were dispatched to the scene in the area of Bird Bay Drive and U.S. 41 Bypass around 4:30 a.m. April 16. Two Venice patrol officers had stopped Mark Conley (date of birth: 8/4/91) and Shawn Jenkins (date of birth: 9/8/88) earlier in the evening and recognized their description from the dispatcher.  The officers found Conley and Jenkins emerging from Legacy Trail at Colonia Lane, where the officers stopped them.  Conley and Jenkins were identified by the victim. The suspects were read their Miranda rights and admitted to “messing” with the victim and getting into an altercation. They were arrested and charged with vehicle burglary and battery.


DATE: March 13, 2015

SUBJECT: Venice police make arrest


Venice police arrested John J. Obrien (birthdate 5-18-38) and charged him with domestic aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. Obrien was arrested March 12 around 6 p.m. after he tried to use a knife to attack the woman with whom he lived. The woman had notified police that she might need assistance while moving out of the couple’s home. Police were in the neighborhood when they were dispatched to the home where the victim and three friends were helping her move.

The police investigation showed that within moments of the victim arriving at the residence in the 900 block of Bonaire in Venice, Obrien met the vehicle in the driveway and allegedly tried to stab the victim through the passenger window. The driver of the truck pulled forward to get the victim out of harm’s way, resulting in Obrien falling. He reportedly got up about the time police officers arrived and they were able to recover the weapon.

Police found knives strategically placed inside the home so they were within easy reach. They found the victim’s personal vehicle had been disabled.

DATE: Feb. 25, 2015

SUBJECT: Venice Police warn of scam


Venice residents are being asked to be on the lookout for two men driving a white truck and claiming to be FPL contractors. They tell residents they will be fined $500 if they do not let the subjects in the home. Venice Police are warning residents not to let strangers in their homes under any circumstances. If someone has already let them in their homes, they should check for anything that is missing. They have been reportedly seen in the East Gate neighborhood. Anyone who has seen these men should immediately call Venice Police at (941) 486-2444, give a detailed description of the men, their vehicle and a license plate number if possible.


DATE: Jan. 9, 2015

SUBJECT: West Venice Ave. closure due to repairs and paving

Work on West Venice Avenue begins Monday, Jan. 12 to repair the road bed and repave between Harbor Drive and The Esplanade. Parking will not be allowed along both sides of the street during that time and drivers are advised to avoid the area due to lane closures. Those traveling in the area may use Granada and Barcelona avenues instead of West Venice Avenue. The work is expected to take all week.

DATE: Dec. 18, 2014

SUBJECT: New bike lanes call for awareness of rules of the road


 The city of Venice is proud to be a Silver Bike Friendly Community and is working toward making biking a safe mode of transportation and healthy exercise. Several streets have recently been marked with bike lanes and sharrows.

A sharrow is a reminder that cars must share the lane with bikes and keep a constant lookout and awareness of bicycle traffic.

A bike lane is specifically marked for bicycle traffic only. Stopping, standing or parking in these lanes is prohibited. Cars may pull over to the curb in a bike lane momentarily to drop off a passenger, but may not vacate the car in that spot.

Residents of Venice are encouraged to enjoy biking in this beautiful coastal community. They are especially encouraged to learn the rules of safe biking, as are vehicular drivers encouraged to learn the rules of the road for sharing the streets with bicyclists. This includes understanding that when riding a bicycle in the street, the rules for bicyclists are the same as they are for drivers of vehicles. That is, ride on the right side, use hand signals for turning, and obey traffic signals.  

When riding a bicycle on the sidewalk, pedestrians have the right of way. Always use a bell or other audible signal, including a polite “on your left” warning as you ride up behind a pedestrian on a sidewalk or crosswalk. If a sidewalk is congested with pedestrians, the bicyclists should use the street.

Venice is fortunate to have more than 12 miles of bicycle and hiking trails that one can take all the way to Sarasota without ever encountering a motorized vehicle.

When driving a car, avoid the bicycle lane, watch for bicycle traffic and give a few feet of distance between the vehicle and bicycle when in a marked sharrow and on other roads. Bike and drive safely.


DATE: Dec. 17, 2014

SUBJECT: Holiday closures and garbage collection

Venice City Hall will be closed Dec. 24, Dec. 25 and Jan. 1 in observance of the Christmas and New Year’s holidays. Garbage, recycling and yard waste will be collected as usual on Dec. 24.

There will be no collection on Thursday, Dec. 25 or Thursday, Jan. 1. Thursday customers in the city of Venice will have all items collected Monday, Dec. 29 and Monday, Jan. 5.


DATE: Dec. 17, 2014

SUBJECT: PD reunites dog and owner

Frank, a miniature schnauzer, had a little adventure Dec. 16. A couple spotted the little pooch, alone and on the run, in the area of Border Road and Jacaranda Boulevard. They decided to take him to the Venice Police Department. There, Records Clerk Kelli Peyton checked Frank’s tags and called the number on the Home Again website, enabling her to find Frank’s owner. Soon April Speyer arrived at PD to claim her furry friend. “This is the only child of mine who has ever landed in jail,” Speyer told police when she expressed her gratitude for finding Frank. From left, Chief Tom McNulty, Spreyer with Frank, Records Clerk Kelli Peyton and Records Manager Teri Krabill.


DATE: Dec. 16, 2014

SUBJECT: Road Work in Venice



On Dec. 18 and 19 there will be a road closure of the eastbound portion of West Venice Avenue in Venice, between Armada Road and Park Boulevard in order for a sewer line to be installed.  There will be intermittent lane closures the following week for restoration of the roadway.  These activities are preceding the planned paving of West Venice Avenue in the near future.


DATE: Dec. 16, 2014

SUBJECT: Road Work in Venice


On Dec. 19, repair work will be starting at the southeast corner of Indian Avenue at  Bahama Street to alleviate water ponding at this corner. A section of the curb and sidewalk will be removed and replaced and the asphalt will be reconfigured.

The  curb and sidewalk will be removed on Friday and Saturday, Dec. 19-20. Concrete forms will be set on Monday, Dec. 22 and new concrete poured on Tuesday, Dec. 23. A temporary lane closure will be in place at this corner only. Flaggers  will be in place to direct traffic.

On Jan. 5, the final lift of asphalt will be placed between 8 a.m. – 1 p.m.. One lane will be open during asphalt application and both lanes will be open by 1 p.m.


DATE: Dec. 16, 2014

SUBJECT: Venice Police share holiday spirit


[The following news release is from Venice Police Chief Tom McNulty]


Saturday, Dec. 20, members of the Venice Police Department will continue their tradition of assisting families in need during the holiday season. 

For approximately the last 30 years or more members of the Venice Police Department have assisted families by providing meals and children’s gifts to those less fortunate.  This tradition has been kept alive for decades due to our members, past and present, who consider it an honor and privilege to further serve their community. This program has woven itself into the culture of the Venice Police Department and will continue for many years to come.  This year Officer Paul Freeman will mark his 13th year involved in this program, with the last four years serving in the role of coordinator.  Paul and his staff, consisting of other employees and their relatives, will be fulfilling Christmas wishes for 42 families. Each family will receive gifts for their children and a food basket consisting of a complete breakfast and turkey dinner. 

This program has been funded through donations from local business, residents, and the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 57, the Venice Police chapter.  Families are identified as in need with the assistance of our Sarasota County school administrators, as well as Venice Police officers who in their daily interactions come across families who are struggling and in need of assistance.

Also on Saturday, local longtime resident Rich Carroll will be giving away his 2,500th  bicycle.  Rich’s program started 17 years ago initially in collaboration with our local Moose Lodge and with consistent involvement of the Venice Police Department. Rich has and continues to spend many hours throughout the year planning this event which is financially supported by himself as well as some very generous friends and contacts he has made in this area.  Rich identifies children and families in need with the assistance of Big Brothers/Sisters, Salvation Army, Trinity of Hope, Foster Parents, Center of Hope, and Catholic Charities. 

As in previous years, Santa Clause, a good friend of Police Chief Tom McNulty, will be arriving at Epiphany School around 1:30 p.m. to distribute gifts to the selected children.  This is an inspirational event that puts one’s life in perspective.

On behalf of the Venice Police Department, please have a blessed and safe holiday.


DATE: Dec. 15, 2014

SUBJECT: Venice Police investigation turns up fraudulent credit card use


Venice police arrested Elouise White (Date of Birth: Oct. 14, 1958) charging her with grand theft and fraudulent credit card use after receiving a complaint from the Moose Club on Dec. 14, around 2 a.m.,  that the victim’s wallet was stolen from the club. When the victim checked the online bank statement and found the card had already been used, the police conducted an expedient follow-up enabling them to identify the suspect. Police discovered the fraudulent charge of $800 was used to bail a third party out of jail. With assistance from the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office, the police conducted a check on the suspect’s residence in Nokomis, where White was arrested.