Dr. Octavio Blanco has what may seem to sound like an unusual request.
He’s urging motorists who are traveling on State Road 54 — in the Lutz/Land O’ Lakes area — and along the Suncoast Parkway in that general area, to keep an eye out for loose cows.
Blanco is concerned that criminal activities on his property, 16543 State Road 54, in Lutz, could put drivers at risk.
His 100-acre property has been the target of thieves.
Stealing his things is one thing, Blanco said, but the criminals also are making it possible for his cows to get out — which could pose a hazard to unsuspecting passing motorists.
He’s got a herd of about 40 beef cows.
Blanco thinks it’s highly likely that if these crimes continue to happen, his cows will get loose and wander onto State Road 54 or the Suncoast Parkway.
And, if that occurs at night, it could prove deadly, Blanco said.
It’s not an imaginary fear, said Blanco, who recalls when he was a child he saw the aftermath of an accident when a Volkswagen ran into a cow and the people inside of the car were killed.
Blanco has alerted the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office about his concerns.
Amanda Hunter, public information manager for the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office, said, via email, that the law enforcement agency is continuing to investigate these cases.
It posted this information on the agency’s Facebook page on Sept. 21:
“Help Us Solve a Crime: On two separate days within the past two months, a suspect forced their way into a home and barn in the Land O’ Lakes area off SR 54 and stole the victim’s property.
“The pictured white male was seen leaving the victim’s property the day of first burglary and may have left with the dark colored minivan. The second burglary involved the black Ford truck with attached trailer. The male has a mullet hairstyle and a tattoo on left side of his chest.
“If you have any information on this case, or know the identity of the suspect, submit a tip to the Pasco Sheriff’s Crime Tips Line at 1-800-706-2488 and refer to case number 21027615 or 21033171. Please do not submit tips on social media.
On Oct. 13, it re-posted the original post, along with this additional information:
“PSO (Pasco Sheriff’s Office) detectives continue to investigate these incidents in the SR 54 area of Land O’ Lakes. This suspect also cut the victim’s fence which was holding in cattle. This crime is a felony under Florida statute. Livestock that escape can wander onto roadways and potentially cause crashes and endanger citizens.”
In her email to The Laker/Lutz News, Hunter also noted that the sheriff’s office has “spoken with the victim for these cases at length numerous times to address his concerns.
“The agency’s agricultural unit and its property crimes unit also has been in touch with him,” she said. They are working with him to install cameras to help solve the crimes, Hunter added.
While he would like to put an end to the burglaries, Blanco said his primary concern is to alert the public, to help avert a potential tragedy.
Published November 03, 2021