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Pinellas sheriff’s event clears 60 minor warrants

By Kristen Mitchell
Tribune staff
Published: November 17, 2014

ST. PETERSBURG — More than 50 people with nonviolent misdemeanor warrants out for their arrest got off the hook this weekend.

The Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office hosted a one-day event, “Operation Safe Surrender,” on Sunday to encourage locals who had outstanding warrants to turn themselves in in the hopes of getting the issue resolved.

Fifty-two people went to the Suncoast Safety Council to surrender, and 60 misdemeanor warrants were processed, and $1,879 in fines, court costs and restitution was collected by the clerk of court’s office.

A sheriff’s office report also said about 50 people turned themselves in ahead of the event to pay or settle parking ticket violations.

If parking tickets go unpaid, the city of St. Petersburg will issue an arrest warrant. Public Defender Bob Dillinger said St. Petersburg is the only municipality in Pinellas to issue warrants for unpaid tickets. The surrender event is a good way to purge the system of offenders who aren’t a threat to public safety.

One prior Safe Surrender event has been hosted in the county, where 114 people were processed and 138 warrants were purged.

The sheriff’s office worked with the state attorney’s office, public defender’s office, judges and the Pinellas County Clerk of the Circuit Court on the event.

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