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Manatee deputies charge suspect in 3 Parrish robberies

MANATEE — A man was charged Tuesday with two counts of armed robbery and one count of attempted armed robbery, according to the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office.

Michael Cooley, 26, was charged after being questioned about three robberies Tuesday in Parrish, according to the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office.

The robber used a knife to threaten employees at three businesses in a six-hour period. In two holdups, he got away with cash. The knife believed to be used in the robberies has been recovered, according to sheriff’s spokesman Dave Bristow.

No one was injured in the robberies.

Charges are pending, according to the sheriff’s office.

The robber followed the same tactic at each business. He entered brandishing a knife, demanded money and drove away in a red sports car with a black top, according to the news release.

He hit La Placita Mexicana at 12341 U.S. 301 N. in Parrish at 6:03 a.m., but ran without taking anything, fleeing north on U.S. 301, deputies said.

While deputies were following up at the first location, they received a call from the C&A Country Store, 12205 U.S. 301 N. at 6:18 a.m. describing a nearly identical incident. This time the suspect did get money before running eastbound, according to the release.

At 12:01 p.m., deputies responded to a robbery alarm at the Dollar General at 12110 U.S. 301 N., according to the release, where a suspect robbed a clerk at knifepoint and fled in a red car north on 121st Avenue East.Deputies describe the suspect as a man in his 20s or 30s, between 5-foot-6 and 6-foot tall, 180 to 240 pounds, wearing a black sweater or hoodie, red shirt and jeans.

A similar incident occurred at 9:20 p.m. Monday when a man in a Halloween mask tried to rob a BP gas station at 6812 14th St. W., Bradenton, according to the release. He threatened a clerk with a knife but ran without stealing anything.

Dave Bristow, spokesman for the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office, said deputies have no reason to believe the three robberies in Parrish are related to the Monday robbery.

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