Investigators have reason to believe two armed robberies in Manatee County early Friday may be connected.
The first robbery occurred around 5:30 a.m. at the Circle K gas station, located at 3304 53rd Ave. E. The suspect, wearing all black and a white mask, “took property by force” while three victims were in the store, according to the sheriff’s office. He ran from the scene.
An hour and 15 minutes later, an alarm rang about five miles away at the Burger King at 2319 Cortez Road W., according to Manatee County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Brett Getman. An armed man said to stand at 6-feet and weigh 220 pounds was wearing a white mask and black clothes when he barged into the restaurant, jumped the counter and demanded an unknown amount of money.
The manager put the money in a bag and the man escaped through the back door, the sheriff’s office said.
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Getman said the suspects for both robberies have “similar characteristics.” No one was hurt in either robbery.