“There are people ... being robbed at gunpoint.’ Burglar asks why cops after him, report says

A 26-year-old Bradenton man was easy to spot after witnesses described a burglary suspect as having a “pink female tote,” and shoes that did not fit him, according to the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office.

That description led to the arrest of Shakeem Fleming on June 14 after deputies say he burglarized three vehicles at the Cortez Plaza Apartments. Deputies later spotted Fleming walking down the road near the Desoto Square mall. After making contact, Fleming is said to have begun acting suspiciously and refused commands to stop walking.

He told the deputy he was just trying to go see his cousin and that there was no need to “Code 94,” him, Fleming told the deputy, using the law enforcement Code 11-94 for a pedestrian stop, according to the report.

Fleming then dropped all of the belongings he was carrying in the “pink female tote,” slipped out of his ill fitting shoes and fled the scene.

The deputy notified other law enforcement that the suspect had fled while he secured the items dropped by Fleming. He was arrested in the mall parking lot moments later.

Deputies found two wallets that had been reported stolen inside the pink tote containing personal information and debit cards. The pink tote had also been reported stolen from one of the vehicles.

In all, deputies say Fleming broke into three vehicles, one of which was a locked convertible. The report states Fleming cut the top to gain entry.

Fleming initially told deputies he refused to talk, but then said, “There are people out there being robbed at gunpoint and you are worried about a few petty thefts.”

Fleming allegedly told deputies he has to steal because he, “enjoys doing drugs and needs to find money for those drugs,” the report states.

He is charged with three felony burglary counts and misdemeanor resisting arrest without violence.

Fleming made bond and was released from custody on Tuesday. According to jail records, he has had encounters with law enforcement dating back to 2010. His prior arrests include aggravated assault, sexual battery and two prior burglary charges in 2015 and again in 2018.