Man charged with stealing scrap metal from Bradenton business

May 8, 2013 

MANATEE -- A man was arrested after he broke into a Bradenton business and stole scrap metal, according to the Manatee County Sheriff's Office.

About 11:50 p.m. a deputy stopped Merle Wilkinson after he spotted him driving away from Marine Concepts, 1600 Whitfield Ave., with a truckload of scrap metal. The sheriff's office said the deputy made the stop because of numerous burglaries in the area.

Wilkinson said an employee whose name he did not know had given him permission to take scrap from Dumpsters on the property. He had the metal in the truck came from his storage unit and had been there all day, according to the news release.

Other deputies went inside the complex and found matching metal in one of the warehouses. Tire tracks on the warehouse floor matched those on Wilkinson's truck, according to the report.

A representative of Marine Concepts was found on the property and he said no one had permission to take anything from the business. He also identified the scrap in Wilkinson's truck as belonging to the business, the sheriff's office.

Wilkinson was arrested on charges of burglary and grand theft. He was being held at the Manatee County jail on bonds totaling $3,000 bond.

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