SARASOTA -- Two separate suspicious incidents are under investigation in Sarasota but there is no evidence the two incidents are connected, according to the Sarasota Police Department.
The first incident happened at the Westfield Southgate Mall, 3501 South Tamiami Trail, at approximately 11:20 a.m. Tuesday when someone walked into the LensCrafters store, threw a crushed solid product into the store and fled, according to SPD press releases.
The Sarasota County Fire Department is unsure what the substance is but the material was deemed not hazardous or dangerous. More than 25 units with the Sarasota Police Department's Bureau of Patrol, Street Crimes Unit and Criminal Investigations responded.
For the safety of mall visitors, those inside were issued a shelter-in-place order, according to SPD. No one was allowed in or out of the mall during the investigation. The mall reopened about 1:45 p.m.
The second incident happened shortly before 2 p.m. at Plaza Five Points at 50 Central Ave., Sarasota. An envelope was delivered to the lobby via U.S. Postal Service. The person in the lobby began to open the envelope and noticed suspicious drawings and wording.
The Sarasota Police Department and the Sarasota County Fire Department responded. The envelope was deemed not explosive or hazardous by the Sarasota County Fire Department Hazmat team. There was no specific threat to any individual in the building at Plaza Five Points. The envelope was addressed and had a return address of Plaza Five Points.
More information will be released when it becomes available.
Both incidents are under investigation.
Anyone with information is encouraged to call the Sarasota Police Department at 941-954-7070 or leave an anonymous tip with Crime Stoppers by calling 941-366-TIPS or online at sarasotacrimestoppers.com.