Crime

Sheriff’s office reports increase in home burglaries

MANATEE — A few beers.

That’s what two would-be burglars were looking to come away with Thursday morning when one snuck into an enclosed pool of a home on the 200 block of 46th Street West, according to the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office.

But they were stopped by the homeowner after he got into a physical struggle with one of the suspects, 18-year-old John Trussell.

It ended with the pair in the pool and Trussell trying to get away. The other suspect, Mathew Gambuzza, 18, assigned to the position of look-out, fled his post after the confrontation, according to the sheriff’s office.

Then Trussell had another brief struggle with the victim, 52, and a neighbor before he was detained — without the beer.

Sheriff’s deputies arrived on scene shortly after and arrested the pair.

Trussell suffered minor injuries and the victim was taken to Blake Medical Center with cardiac problems.

Incidents such as these are on the rise countywide, with the number of burglaries in residential areas at 1,138 compared to 903 during the first six months of 2009. The overall number countywide has risen from 1,162 to 1,308, according to the sheriff’s office.

“It’s kind of a roller-coaster effect,” said Dave Bristow, public information officer for the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office.

There is no clear reason for the spike, he added, noting that the best way to prevent a burglary is to stay alert and to buy a home security system. “You need to talk to people in your neighborhood to look out,” said Bristow. “Make it look as if someone is there during the day.”

He said anyone who sees a burglary in progress should call police and remember as much information about the intruder as possible.

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