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Palmetto man dies in car crash on U.S. 41

BRADENTON — A 30-year-old Palmetto man was killed in a crash that took place early Thursday morning on U.S. 41.

Robert L. Collins, of Palmetto, died during the two-vehicle crash that took place at 2:45 a.m. near Sixth Avenue West, said Bradenton Police Deputy Chief J.J. Lewis.

The wreck involved a beige Cadillac SUV driven by Collins and a Ryder rental truck driven by 71-year-old Bradenton man. Collins was traveling south on First Street West and estimated to be traveling at about 100 mph, according to the crash report.

The other driver was traveling at about 5 mph east on Sixth Avenue West. The Ryder truck had a trailer and overturned, according to the crash report.

Glass covered the road during the early-morning hours as police and firefighters responded to the scene.

Alleged serial burglar charged

MANATEE — A man allegedly responsible for burglarizing possibly more than 100 people was arrested on a new burglary charge Wednesday, according to arrest reports.

Roy Eugene Whittaker III, 37, of Bradenton, was arrested on a new charge of burglary to an unoccupied dwelling for allegedly burgling a circular saw from a home in the 6900 block of Magellan Way last year, according to the report.

Whittaker and his girlfriend, Denice Hendricks, were both charged in many of the burglaries, including this one.

The Manatee County Sheriff’s Office recovered so much stolen property from Whittaker in search warrants last year they had to have owners claim their belongings under an open tent in the parking lot.

There were 75 people who were able to come forward and get some of their belongings back.

A room at the sheriff’s office still contains thousands of dollars of the property that went unclaimed, according to detectives.

From the previous charges, Hendricks, 31, was sentenced to 18 months incarceration and five years of probation.

Whittaker is scheduled to go before a judge March 26 for violating his probation.

Ice cream man robbed

MANATEE — A 19-year-old man was arrested on robbery charges Wednesday after he allegedly beat and robbed an ice cream vendor, according to an arrest report.

Willie D. Brown of Palmetto acted like he was going to buy an ice cream bar from a man in the 300 block of 61st Avenue East when he allegedly punched the man in jaw.

Another man with Brown kicked the man stomach several times. Brown allegedly went through the man’s pockets and took money before fleeing.

A deputy spotted Brown riding a bike a few blocks away. Brown took off on a bike in someone’s back yard.

He was arrested. He remains in jail on a $25,000 bond.

Residents report shooting

MANATEE — A PT Cruiser was shot up between Wednesday night and early Thursday morning, according to a released statement from Manatee County Sheriff’s Office.

The vehicle was parked in front of a home in the 700 block of 26th Avenue East in Bradenton. No one was inside the car at the time and no one was injured, according to the report.

At least one round of birdshot was fired striking the back windshield and then striking the garage door.

Anyone with any information can contact the sheriff’s office at 747-3011 or contact Crimestoppers at (866) 634-TIPS (8477).

— Natalie Alund and Beth Burger

Police briefs are compiled from reports from the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office, the Florida Highway Patrol, the police departments from Bradenton, Palmetto and the island communities and fire departments in Manatee and Sarasota counties. Those with information about crimes can call Crimestoppers at (866) 634-TIPS (8477).