Sheriff: Detectives sharing details on multiple home invasions

bburger@bradenton.comApril 25, 2009 

MANASOTA — With detectives working on leads from as many as 10 home invasion attacks between Manatee and Sarasota counties, no arrests were made as of Friday night.

It’s still unclear whether the same suspect is responsible for all of the brutal attacks.

Authorities from federal, state and local law enforcement agencies are working to arrest the suspect responsible for the violently beating many of his victims.

“We’re still following up (on tips),” said Manatee County Sheriff Brad Steube.

Investigators released a composite sketch of what could be the attacker.

The sketch came from a witness outside an 84-year-old woman’s home who saw a man with a red backpack fleeing the scene after she was pistol-whipped. He is believed to have beaten and bound the woman in her home.

Detectives are investigating if the same man committed as many as nine other similar attacks.

The man is about six feet tall and weighs between 170 and 200 pounds. His race is unclear and his victims have been unable to provide a detailed description because he always wears a mask.

In one attack in Sarasota, a woman was found killed in her home.

Many of the attacks have targeted upper middle class residential neighborhoods and older women.

Manatee County Sheriff’s Office, Bradenton Police Department, Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office and Sarasota Police Department are all sharing information on the cases. Detectives met to review more information Friday, Steube said.

The most recent attack was Monday in Bradenton’s Riverview Boulevard neighborhood. In that case, a man beat and bound a couple in their late 50s or early 60s in their home in the 200 block of 32nd Street Northwest.

Investigators have urged anyone with information on the attacks to come forward.

Authorities also are asking residents to be aware of their surroundings, keep their doors locked and not to hesitate to report anything suspicious.

Anyone with any information can contact Bradenton Police at 932-9301 or the sheriff’s office at 747-3011.

To remain anonymous and possibly be eligible for a cash reward, call Crimestoppers at (866) 634-TIPS (8477).

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