By Rachel Brown Hackney
Crime is down year-over-year on Siesta Key, Sgt. Paul Cernansky, leader of the Sheriff’s Office’s substation, reported to about 90 Siesta Key Association (SKA) members during their first regular meeting of 2019.
The number of residential burglaries fell 77% from the same period of 2018, and the figure for vehicle burglaries dropped 30%, Cernansky said during his January remarks. “Thefts of all types are down,” he added.
In an effort to maintain those trends, Cernansky indicated, he has received approval for the addition of one deputy to the group of officers who handle issues on the island. Additionally, he continued, the Sheriff’s Office Mounted Patrol will be incorporated more routinely into island law enforcement rounds. “By and large, you’ll see a lot more of a Sheriff’s Office presence out here.”
Further, Cernansky explained that he has been at work on a plan to rotate shifts during the daytime, so the public will see officers at different times.
By the way, Cernansky certainly seems to be enjoying his new position on the Key. He reported in early January, “I’m in paradise out here.”
He became the substation leader in October 2018, after then-Sgt. Jason Mruczek was promoted to lieutenant and assigned to the Animal Services Division.
And speaking of crime on the Key …
The Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office arrested a Sarasota couple on Jan. 8 after they allegedly attempted to sell and pawn multiple items reported stolen during a Siesta Key vehicle burglary, the office reported.
Jonah Kimbler, 33, and Micah Kimbler, 29, were charged after Jonah Kimbler was seen on surveillance video as he visited two pawn shops, and Micah Kimbler allegedly listed some of the missing items on the Let Go website, the Sheriff’s Office report said.
The Let Go site allows users to buy and sell items secondhand, a Sheriff’s Office news release explained.
Jonah Kimbler was charged with three counts of Dealing in Stolen Property, Providing False Information to a Pawnbroker, Possession of Hydromorphone, two counts of Possession of Narcotic Equipment and two counts of Driving While License Suspended, a Sheriff’s Office news release noted.
Additionally, he was charged with Unarmed Burglary of an Unoccupied Conveyance. His bond on that charge was set at $7,500. The three counts of Dealing in Stolen Property carried a total bond of $22,500, and the count related to his alleged pawn shop endeavor was set at $1,500, the Corrections Division records noted.
Bond on each of the drug equipment charges is $500, Corrections Division records showed. The bond on the drug possession charge is $1,500, and each traffic violation carries bond of $1,500. Jonah Kimbler remained in custody as of Jan. 15, the Corrections Division records said.
The Sheriff’s Office Corrections Division webpage noted that Micah Kimbler was released on Jan. 12 on a total bond of $15,000, reflecting two counts of Dealing in Stolen Property.
Both she and Jonah Kimbler were identified as unemployed at the time of their arrests, the Corrections Division information said.
The investigation is ongoing, the Sheriff’s Office news release pointed out, “and additional charges are pending.”
On Jan. 6, a visitor to the island alerted detectives that a Crux custom bicycle, a Dell laptop computer in a black backpack, clothing, Oakley prescription sunglasses and several other, miscellaneous items were missing and presumed stolen from the visitor’s unlocked vehicle, the report noted. The total value of the items was estimated at $4,235, the Sheriff’s Office report added.
The vehicle was parked in the 1800 block of Stickney Point Road, the Sheriff’s Office news release said.
On Jan. 7, at 8:30 a.m., the report continued, Jonah Kimbler entered Money Pro Pawn, located at 4555 Bee Ridge Road in Sarasota, with the Crux bicycle and a pair of black bicycle shoes “and endeavored to pawn them. He was refused,” the report said, so he left the establishment. Surveillance video taken at the pawnshop showed him attempting to make the transaction, the report added.
Then at 9:40 a.m. on Jan. 7, surveillance video taken at Goldcoast Pawn and Jewelry, located at 3210 Clark Road in Sarasota, showed Jonah Kimbler entering that shop in an effort to pawn the same two items, the Sheriff’s Office report said. This time, he received $300 for the items, the report noted, but he had to provide his signature and thumbprint, “indicating he was the rightful owner of the items being pawned.”
On Jan. 8, the report continued, the owner of the bicycle and shoes identified them as part of the property allegedly stolen from his vehicle. Goldcoast Pawn and Jewelry then released the items to the owner, the report said.
As for Micah Kimbler: The Sheriff’s Office report on her activities in the case noted that on Jan. 6, she placed two advertisements on the Let Go website, one of which was for a “Red And Black Bike,” listing the price as negotiable. The accompanying photo showed the Crux custom bicycle, the Sheriff’s Office report said. Another photo showed the black bicycle shoes, as well as a white Kask bicycle helmet, which the victim also had reported stolen, according to the Sheriff’s Office.
The second ad Micah Kimbler allegedly placed on Let Go was for a set of jumper cables. That ad also had a photo of the equipment, the Sheriff’s Office report noted.
On Jan. 7, the victim of the crime contacted the Sheriff’s Office regarding the Let Go ads, the report continued. He was able to identify the bicycle as the one he had reported stolen, the report added. “He also confirmed there was a set of jumper cables” missing from his vehicle, which he had not included in his original report to the Sheriff’s Office, the report said. After the victim saw the photo of the jumper cables from the Let Go website, the report noted, he identified those as a set that had been in his vehicle.
During the investigation, the Sheriff’s Office news release said, undercover detectives began communicating with Micah Kimbler online. On Jan. 8, they agreed to meet with her to purchase the allegedly stolen items, the release added. When detectives arrived, “both Jonah and Micah were taken into custody. Upon their arrest, deputies recovered a needle, prescription pill, and various drug paraphernalia in Jonah’s possession,” the release noted.