MANATEE -- Two masked gunmen this morning robbed a Wachovia bank branch in East Manatee, according to the Manatee County Sheriff's Office.
The suspects hit the bank, 2901 53rd Ave. E., about 9:30 a.m. They got away with an undisclosed amount of a cash in a Chevrolet Avalanche pickup truck found burned a few blocks away, said sheriff's Sgt. Darin Bankert. No one was injured in the bank.
The truck, which detectives say had been reported stolen, was found ablaze in a wooded area near the intersection of 51st Avenue East and 30th Street East.
Bankert said investigators believe that after burning the truck, the suspects fled north on 30th Street West in a Mercedes SUV.
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The bank robbery and fire happened near the intersection of 53rd Avenue East/State Road 70 and U.S. 301, one of the busiest in the county.
Anyone with information on the robbery can call the sheriff's office at (941) 747-3011 or Crime Stoppers at (866) 634-TIPS.