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Woman, 70, hurt in home invasion

MANATEE — A woman was beaten over the head with a gun and robbed inside her home Tuesday, according to the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office.

No suspects have been arrested in the home invasion robbery case after deputies patrolled the area, set up a perimeter, searched with a helicopter and canine units, said Capt. BG Dixon.

The 70-year-old woman was talking on the phone when she heard someone knocking at her front door in the 4000 block of 53rd Avenue East/State Road 70.

The woman answered the door thinking it was her son. She opened the door and a man wearing dark pants and a blue jacket forced his way into the small white frame house just before 3 p.m.

Her front door remained ajar as investigators collected evidence at the scene.

The intruder struck her once over the head and then demanded money. The woman complied with the robber’s request and gave him her purse. He then struck her a second time before fleeing. The person who was talking to the woman on the phone called 911 after hearing the attack.

The woman was flown to Bayfront Medical Center in St. Petersburg after she received several serious lacerations on her head.

It’s unknown which direction the robber went. “We have no idea why he would pick this house,” Dixon said.

A couple residing in the Peridia subdivision stood across 53rd Avenue East watching detectives collect evidence behind yellow crime scene tape.

“This neighborhood is usually very quiet,” said Amy Kosinski, standing next to her husband, Mark. The couple has lived in the area for about a year. “It’s sad. I hope she is OK,” she said.

Mark Kosinski said he thought it was unusual the home was targeted. “It surprises me they would pick something like this,” he said, staring at the home.

The residence is on a shady plot of property and is adjacent to two empty, boarded-up residences up for sale. Trees and tall grass surround the property.

A post office is a couple blocks east of the home. The home sits across from Peridia Office Park divided by six lanes of traffic.

Anyone with any information about the case can contact Detective Dennis Sanders at 747-3011, ext. 2552, or remain anonymous by calling Crimestoppers at (866) 634-TIPS (8477).

Beth Burger, criminal justice reporter, can be reached at 708-7919.