MANATEE — A pair of robberies committed by suspects whose descriptions were similar occurred in 7-11 convenience stores in Manatee County about 15 minutes apart early Sunday.
The first incident occurred at 1:45 a.m. at the 7-11 at 6886 15th St. E., Bradenton, and the second occurred at 2:02 a.m. at the 7-11 at 224 Pearl Ave., Sarasota.
In the 15th Street East robbery, two men, described as one thin and one heavy, entered the store, which was occupied by two cus- tomers and two store clerks.
The heavier man immediately punched a customer in the face and ordered the customer and his young son to lie on the ground, according to a Manatee County Sheriff’s report.
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At the same time, the other suspect went behind the counter, implied that he had a weapon, and had the clerk open a cash drawer. The thin suspect removed the drawer and fled, along with his accomplice.
The customers and clerks were unhurt, the report added.
Multiple units responded to the scene, including K-9, but the suspects were not located.
Then, 17 minutes later, two suspects, also described as one thin and one heavy, entered the 7-11 on Pearl Avenue and ordered the clerks to the floor.
One of the clerks was punched in the right cheek, the report stated.
One of the perpetrators then went behind the counter and removed one of the drawers full of scratch-off lottery tickets.
He also took an undetermined amount of cash from one of two opened registers.
The suspects fled out the door and to the west on foot and could not be located, the report concluded.