Credit cards stolen in Ringling College of Art and Design burglary

- At the Ringling College of Art and Design, students like Jennifer Medina are busy crafting their talents.

Crime is not something that would cross her mind, until now.

"You would think it is a safe environment," the freshman offered.

Sarasota police said two people violated that trust.  They were caught on surveillance video walking into the Madeby art gallery, where students showcase their work.

The two weren't there to appreciate the arts.

"It kind of makes me feel uncomfortable that they were on campus and no one wants to deal with the trouble," said Medina.

Police said the pair found an unlocked office, went in, and stole several credit cards.  Once the pair got their hands on the credit cards, they went from CVS to Walgreens in Manatee County and Bradenton.
Officers say they racked up thousands of dollars in charges.

"We don't believe the suspects to be employees or students of the college, but they were able to gain access to that office," said Genevieve Judge with the Sarasota Police Department.

Police don't know why they targeted the campus, but are hopeful someone will recognize their faces or the car they drove.

"Thankfully in this case the video is extremely clear and the suspects have distinct clothing and hair styles," said Judge.

Sarasota police are now reminding everyone from students to staff that anyone can become a victim.

"You always want to be very mindful of where your personal belongings are, including your IDs and credit cards, because unfortunately you never know when someone bad is trying to do something to hurt you," continued Judge.

The Ringling College of Art and Design released this statement after the burglary:

"The Ringling College Public Safety Department is working with the Sarasota and Bradenton Police Departments to investigate the theft two weeks ago of credit cards from two unoccupied and unlocked offices accessed from the public area of the Ringling College Madeby Gallery. We have made our students, faculty, and staff aware of the thefts on campus."

Anyone with information is encouraged to call Detective Kenton Montegna at 941-954-7092 or leave an anonymous tip with Crime Stoppers by calling 941-366-TIPS (8477) or online at www.sarasotacrimestoppers.com.

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