Bradenton man said he robbed car to help friend

BRADENTON -- An 18-year-old man told officers Monday morning that he was involved in a series of vehicle break-ins because the juvenile boy with him at the time is on probation and needs money to pay restitutions, the Bradenton Police Department reports.

A neighbor called police after she saw Willie Smith and the juvenile boy trying to get into her locked vehicle at about 2:15 p.m. in the 3000 block of 14th Avenue West.

Smith fled from officer after he was seen walking toward 14th Avenue West from a carport, the report said. After a chase on foot Smith surrendered after another officer appeared in his patrol vehicle.

Once Smith was in custody the officers obtained the name and address of the juvenile suspect. The boy’s mother told officers she would contact the department once she located her son, the report said.

After being read his rights, Smith told officers the reason he and his friend were “carhopping,” according to the report. Smith stated the juvenile took everything from the vehicles while he played look out.

Smith has been charged with two counts of unarmed burglary, armed burglary, petit theft, resisting arrest without violence and loitering. He was released from Manatee County jail Tuesday on a $15,990 bond.