Unknown device left at Bradenton bank after robbery not a bomb

The Manatee County Sheriff's Office's bomb squad has determined that an unknown device left at a Bradenton bank by a man who robbed it moments earlier was not a bomb.

At about 2:30 p.m. Friday, the man entered the Wachovia bank branch at 7380 Manatee Ave. W., just east of 75th Street West.

According to witnesses, the suspect pulled from a black bag what appeared to be an explosive device, and placed it on the counter, according to a sheriff’s office news release. The suspect then demanded money from a teller and fled the bank with an undisclosed amount of cash in the bag. The suspect dropped the bag containing the money in the parking lot.

“He left a device that was made to look like some kind of an explosive,” said sheriff’s spokesman Dave Bristow.

The suspect is described as a white male in his 30’s, 5-foot-8 to 5-foot-10-inches tall, with dark hair and a scruffy beard; and wearing a black shirt and black sun glasses, according to the release. The suspect possibly left the area in a gold-colored car. Photos will be released when and if they become available.

The bomb squad used a remote-controlled robot to examine the device.

Anyone with information on this case is asked to contact the Sheriff’s Office, phone (941)747-3011, or Crime Stoppers at phone 866 634-TIPS (8477).