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Manatee County Sheriff’s Office deputies say they need help identifying four suspects who robbed a 7-Eleven store early Thursday morning at gunpoint.
Around 4:56 a.m., four teenagers, who used hoodies and trash bags to cover their bodies, entered the convenience store in the 2000 block of Cortez Road and demanded the cashier open both cash registers. The suspects took several hundred dollars, deputies say.
According to a sheriff’s office release, surveillance video indicates that one of the teens pointed a firearm that was also hidden under a trash bag to force the clerk against the wall while his accomplices filled up trash bags with cigarette cartons. While the suspect with the gun watched over the cashier, the other three suspects then stole random items from throughout the store.
Deputies say the four suspects involved may be connected to a string of recent robberies in the Tampa Bay area, such as a similar robbery at the Mobil Gas Station in the 6200 block of Lake Osprey Drive on Aug. 3.
The suspects fled the store on foot and ran east toward Tijuana Flats. According to surveillance footage, the suspect vehicle might be a 2006-2011 Kia Rio with a rear spoiler.