Key West police have noticed a marked increase of arrests Tuesday on the kinds of offenses often associated with homelessness.
In every case, the arrestee had already been warned repeatedly or previously arrested for trespass, open container, or obstructing the sidewalk. Officers warn the offender on the first offense, then often warn him again on the second and even the third offense and then ticket him, before arresting him. That means that those arrested Tuesday are repeat offenders.
The offender’s name and the warnings are entered in a computer to track the offenses. No reports were turned in Tuesday on arrests for illegal camping. Police said this sudden increase in such arrests may be attributable to the closing of the homeless shelter on Stock Island during daytime hours, which began Tuesday.