Crime

Manatee detectives investigating two armed robberies of elderly residents

A photo of a pick-up truck from the second robbery Saturday, according to the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office.
A photo of a pick-up truck from the second robbery Saturday, according to the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office.

Detectives with the Manatee County Sheriff's Office are investigating two armed robberies Saturday.

According to a release, at approximately 8:05 a.m. Saturday, an 85-year-old woman and her 90-year-old husband were walking in their neighborhood in the 4000 block of Fifth Street East, Bradenton, when approached by a suspect armed with a handgun who demanded money. He took the man’s wallet and fled in a white pickup truck.

During the incident, the sheriff’s office said the suspect pushed the man to the ground and hit the woman when she tried to help her husband. Neither victim was injured, according to the release.

At 11:20 a.m., deputies responded to a similar robbery in the parking lot of a shopping center in the 3400 block of 53rd Avenue West, Bradenton. A 99-year-old man was robbed while getting out of his car. The sheriff’s office said the armed suspect took cash and left the area in a white pickup truck.

According to Manatee County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Dave Bristow, the first victims only saw one person, but other people could have been involved in the robberies.

“We think our best lead is the vehicle right now,” Bristow said. “Whether or not the suspect is actually targeting the elderly, we don’t know. It could have been a coincidence that all three victims were elderly. Certainly, it concerns us whenever you have somebody out there that’s possibly taking advantage of the elderly. We need to get that stopped, and the only way to do it is by putting that guy in jail.”

Anyone with information on these robberies can call the sheriff’s office at 941-747-3011 or Crime Stoppers at 866-634-TIPS.

Amaris Castillo: 941-745-7051, @AmarisCastillo

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