Forensic evidence sends Sarasota roommates to jail on theft charges


Two men were charged with armed burglary after forensic evidence connected them to the theft of a .40-caliber handgun from a Sarasota home, according to the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office.

Roommates James Lagasse, 38, and Anthony Ostrander, 30, were arrested at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday and charged with armed burglary, grand theft of a firearm and violation of probation. They are being held without bond, according to a news release.

According to the sheriff’s office, deputies were first alerted to suspicious activity on Tuesday afternoon in the 2400 block of Grove Street when neighbors saw two suspects approach a front door, walk to the rear of the home and then flee the area. Neighbors took a photo of the suspect’s license plate and shared it with responding deputies. When the victim entered his home, he reported a .40-caliber Baby Desert Eagle handgun missing from inside the residence, according to the release.

The sheriff’s office said forensic technicians responded, processed the scene and located two distinct shoe prints inside the home. Technicians also recovered a hat that didn’t belong to the victim on the backside of the home, the sheriff’s office said.

Using license plate information, investigating deputies connected the suspect vehicle to a Sarasota man well known to law enforcement. The sheriff’s office said when deputies arrived at his home, they located the vehicle and three residents, all of whom agreed to a search of the residence. While inside, detectives located a pair of sneakers with soles that matched the shoe prints found inside the victim’s home. They also spoke with one of the residents who admitted that his roommates Lagasse and Ostrander had tried to sell him the stolen gun only a few hours before.

The investigation is ongoing and additional charges are pending, the sheriff’s office said.