Manatee sheriff releases sketch of possible home invasion suspect

rnapper@bradenton.comApril 22, 2009 

The Manatee County Sheriff's Office has released a composite drawing of a possible suspect in a home invasion/armed burglary that occurred on March 13 inn the 8200 block of 19th Avenue Northwest, Bradenton.

The attack was one of several similar incidents attacks that have occurred in recent weeks in Manatee and Sarasota counties. It’s unclear at this time whether the incidents are related, according to the sheriff's office.

The composite is based on a description provided by a witness who saw a person running from the victim’s residence after the attack. The 84-year-old female victim didn’t get a good look at the suspect because he had his face covered with a mask.

The witness describes the person running from the house as standing about 6 feet tall and weighing 170 to 200 pounds. The witness said the man was carrying a red back pack.

Anyone with information on this case is asked to call the Sheriff’s Office at 747-3011, ext. 2511 or Crime Stoppers at 866-634-TIPS.

Deputies on the road and in the air have been instructed to keep a watchful eye for anything today that could lead to arrests in several violent daytime home invasion attacks.

A Manatee County Sheriff’s Office helicopter has been running surveillance operations today throughout the county to keep an eye out for any possible attacks. All road patrol deputies have also been briefed on the attacks and told to keep alert.

Sheriff’s spokesman Dave Bristow said detectives are sill investigating whether 10 reported home invasion attacks in Manatee and Sarasota counties are related, and whether one man has committed them. The common thread in all of them is severe violence.

“If burglary was his sole motivation, he could do it without hurting these people,” said Bristow. “So there is a reason these things have been so violent. We are very concerned that he seems to like it.”

Law enforcement officials in Manatee County are urging residents not to take the rash of attacks lightly.

The latest came Monday as a man beat a Bradenton couple in their home in the 200 block of 32nd Street Northwest during an apparent burglary, according to Bradenton police reports.

Witnesses said the couple were bound and gagged during the attack, a trend in nine other similar attacks being investigated in Manatee and Sarasota counties.

Detectives with the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office, Bradenton Police Department, Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office and Sarasota Police Department are all investigating similar cases in which women in their 50s and 60s have been attacked.

Anyone with information regarding these attacks can all the sheriff’s office at (941) 747-3011, Bradenton police at (941) 932-9300, or Crimestoppers at (866) 634-TIPS.

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