Thousands of sea oats planted as memorial uprooted on Treasure Island Beach

Photo: Crime Stoppers Pinellas County

TREASURE ISLAND, FL (WFLA) — Treasure Island Police are asking for assistance from the public to help identify and locate the suspects responsible for uprooting thousands of newly planted sea oats on Treasure Island Beach.

According to investigators, a donation was made to the City of Treasure Island to purchase sea oats to be planted in memory of Arthur “Dennis” Velasco who was recently lost at sea.

Seventy-five volunteers planted 10,000 sea oats on July 9th in the 11700 block of the Treasure Island Beach.

Police say sometime between July 10th and 12th, about 30-40 percent of the newly planted sea oats were uprooted. The damage is estimated to be about $4,000.

No suspects or leads have been identified at this time.

Anyone with information is urged to contact the Treasure Island Police Department at (727) 547-4595 or call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-873-TIPS (8477). If your tip leads to an arrest, you may be eligible for a reward of up to $3,000. You must call Crime Stoppers first to be eligible for a reward. You can also report anonymously online at provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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