Thursday, June 30, 2011

Suspect steals woman's cell phone in Bradenton

MANATEE -- A woman had her cell phone stolen near her home early Wednesday, according to the Manatee County Sheriff's Office.

The woman was walking home in the 1000 block of Longfellow Court about 2:25 a.m., when the suspect approached from behind and took her cell phone out of her back pants pocket, according to a report. The suspect did not show or imply a weapon, and did not say anything to the victim.

The woman continued home and called 911. Deputies were not able to locate the suspect or the victim's phone, according to the report.

Longfellow Court is in Shadybrook Village, northeast of the intersection of Ninth Street East and 69th Avenue East, Bradenton.

Popeye's Chicken's manager robbed in Bradenton

MANATEE -- The manager of Popeye's Chicken in Bradenton was robbed while leaving the store after closing late Tuesday, according to the Manatee County Sheriff's Office.

The suspect, however, got away only with work-related papers, according to a report.

The manager was walking to his car outside the restaurant, 3390 First St., just after 11 p.m. when he was approached by man who pointed a handgun at him and demanded his cloth bag. The manager gave it to him, and the suspect fled to a parked scooter near the rear of the business, according to the sheriff's office.

The suspect then fled east on 30th Avenue towards 11th Street Court East. The victim followed the suspect but lost him when he turned south on 11th Street Court East, according to the sheriff's office.
The victim was not injured.

The suspect was described as wearing a motorcycle helmet and black leather jacket.

Juvenile arrested after 6 vehicle break-ins in NW Bradenton

MANATEE -- A juvenile was arrested after deputies determined there had been six vehicle burglaries in a Northwest Bradenton neighborhood, according to the Manatee County Sheriff's Office.

About 12:44 a.m. Wednesday, deputies responded to a report of a burglary in progress in the 6600 block of Ninth Avenue Northwest. Deputies, including a K-9 unit, established a perimeter, and determined there had been six vehicle break-ins, according to a report.

They eventually located and arrested a juvenile suspect, according to the report.

Manatee deputy uses stun gun after suspect swings dustpan at him

Christopher Conrad
Chris Conrad

MANATEE -- A Manatee County Sheriff's Office deputy used his stun gun to subdue a man who had threatened him with the lid to a cooler and then a metal dust pan, according to the sheriff's office.

About 1:21 a.m. Wednesday, the deputy had responded to a report of a domestic disturbance at the home of Chris Conrad, in the 2200 block of 33rd Avenue Drive East. The deputy tried to speak to Conrad, but he quickly became belligerent and aggressive towards the deputy, according to a report.

Conrad started swinging a cooler lid at the deputy, then a metal dustpan.
Fearing he was about to be struck, the deputy stepped back and fired his stun gun at Conrad, hitting him in the back and bringing him under control, according to a report.
After Conrad was secured, he spit on another deputy, according to the sheriff's office.

Conrad was being held without bond on two counts of battery on a law enforcement officer, assault on a law enforcement officer and resisting arrest.

Pit bull bites woman in Bradenton

MANATEE -- A woman was bitten by a pit bull Wednesday and suffered a laceration on her left calf that required 29 stitches to close, according to the Manatee County Sheriff's Office.

The incident occurred in the 4900 block of 25th Street East in Bradenton at 6:15 p.m.

The victim was walking with a friend through the neighborhood when the pit bull and another smaller dog walked up to them with no other people or dog owners around, the women told a deputy with the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office.

The pit bull walked up to the victim and bit her on the left calf, causing a large cut, a report states.
The dog was taken by Manatee County Animal Services and will be kept for 11 days, according to the report.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Web scams a concern in Manatee

You know that email that has been circulating since the 1990s?

The one about the Nigerian banker who has all this money from a business deal that's trapped in an account so he wants to transfer it all to you. Over the years it has become fairly common knowledge to avoid this scam, but many in Manatee continue to fall for this and other Internet cons.

Some of the more popular scams coming into the sheriff's office are of people who are told they have won a significant amount of money, through a lottery or some similar fashion, and need to first transfer cash to a person before getting a final payout.

Lt. Lorenzo Waiters, of the sheriff's office crime prevention unit, reminds people that any legitimate organization that is giving a large cash prize will never ask for a winner to pay taxes and other fees before the prize is given.

Other popular Internet scams include sellers on Craigslist tricking buyers to meet them in secluded locations to purchase high-value items, such as phones, and robbing them after they arrive.

If you or anyone you know has been a scam victim, call the sheriff's office at (941) 747-3011.

Craigslist ad fiasco time line

A Bradenton woman spoke to Herald this past weekend about a Craigslist ad that impacted her life.

Natasha Larson
Tracy's ex-husband’s wife, Natasha Larson, 34, has been charged with  criminal use of personal identification information -- a felony -- and admitted to creating the ad and a fake email in Tracy’s name, according to an arrest report.

“Natasha Larson admitted that she had spoken with several unknown persons through email inviting them to meet her at the victim’s home address for a sexual encounter and giving out the victim’s personal cell phone number,” the report said.

The ad Larson posted invited men to go to Tracy's home for sexual favors and listed her full name, phone number and address.

Here is a time line on how Det. Kevin Bunch was able to link Larson to the post: 
  •  Feb. 18: The ad is posted at 12:28 p.m. It starts off by introducing Tracy and explains that she is in a relationship, but looking to have outside relations with her boyfriend’s approval.“Please feel comfortable calling anytime,” the ad reads. “I look forward to hearing from you! Fun, Fun, Fun. You’re also welcome to stop by our home ... .” The ad ends with Tracy’s address and a warning: “Please be respectful if you do stop by.”
  • March 7: A subpoena is submitted to Google for the subscriber information for the account that Larson made in Tracy's name, information regarding session timestamps and originating IP address for recent logins by this account.
  • May 25: The subpoena for the Gmail account and subscriber information is obtained. An Internet search on the original IP address was conducted and detectives found it was owned and issued to Verizon. 
  • May 27: A subpoena is sent to Verizon requesting the identification of the subscriber using the IP address for Feb. 18 up to Feb. 22.
  • June 1: A response from Verizon is received that confirms the IP address was assigned to Larson's husband.
  • June 14: Circuit Judge Donna Berlin reviews search warrant for Larson's address and signs it. 
  • June 15: Search warrant is executed at Larson's address.
  • June 23: Larson turns herself in to the Bradenton Police Department.
Larson is scheduled to be arraigned at 9 a.m. July 29 in room 2A of the Manatee County Judicial Center, according to court documents. The judge is slated to be Scott Brownell.

Manatee sheriff plans DUI saturation patrols

MANATEE - The Manatee County Sheriff’s Office’s Traffic Unit will conduct a DUI saturation patrol from 5:30 p.m. Friday until 3 a.m. Saturday in areas with a history of high DUI-related incidents, according to a news release.

 Studies show the average DUI driver commits this violation 80 times per year which averages out to once every 4-5 days, according to the sheriff’s office. Also, national averages show that an alcohol related fatality occurs every 30 minutes.

 So far this year, the Traffic Unit has made over 200 DUI arrests.

The purpose of the saturation patrol is to bring awareness to the DUI problem in Manatee County in an effort to reduce the number of DUI’s, particularly the ones involving serious crashes, according to the sheriff’s office.

Authorities release photo of CVS suspect

MANATEE -- The Manatee County Sheriff's Office released a photograph of the man investigators say robbed a CVS pharmacy of pills on Sunday.
The photograph, taken by a security camera at the store, shows a man wearing a red shirt, khaki pants, sunglasses and a baseball cap entering the CVS store at 5310 Lockwood Ridge Road about 4 p.m. Sunday. He walked to the pharmacy and demanded prescription pills, according to the sheriff's office.
The man did not display a weapon, but employees did hand over about $670 in medication, according to investigators.

 The Manatee County Sheriff's Office says this man on Sunday robbed a CVS pharmacy in Bradenton of pills on Sunday.

The man was described as standing 5 feet, 8 inches tall and weighing 160 to 180 pounds. He also had a shaved head, according to the sheriff's office.

Anyone with information about this case can call Crime Stoppers at (866) 634-TIPS or the Manatee County Sheriff's Office (941) 747-3011.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Truck, tires reported stolen in Bradenton

MANATEE -- Someone stole a box truck and 20 new truck tires and rims from a Bradenton business, according to the Manatee County Sheriff's Office.
The theft happened between 1 p.m. Saturday and 6 a.m. Sunday at Pierce Manufacturing, 6620 19th St. E., according to a news release. 66 Anyone with information about this case can call the sheriff's office at (941) 747-3011 or Crime Stoppers at (866) 634-TIPS.

Man robbed outside his Bradenton home

MANATEE -- A 30-year-old man was robbed early Sunday while smoking a cigarette outside his Bradenton home, according to the Manatee County Sheriff's Office.

The victim told deputies he was outside his home in the 5700 block of Fifth Street East about 4:30 a.m. when he was approached by a man who punched him in the head and knocked him out. When he came to about 90 minutes later, he noticed his cigarettes and $180 in cash were gone, according to a news release.
About 6:51 a.m., the man called 911, according to the sheriff's office.
The suspect was described as standing about 5 feet, 10 inches tall and weighing 180 pounds and wearing all-black clothing.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Underage drinking sting nets citations in Bradenton

BRADENTON -- Anyone born after today in 1990 shouldn’t be served alcohol.
That was the message of Thursday’s underage drinking sting by the Bradenton Police Department. The city-wide operation led to 10 employees of 42 establishments being charged with selling/serving alcohol to minors and being issued a notice-to-appear summons.
“We’ve been doing these operations to prevent underage drinking in the community,” said BPD Capt. Warren Merriman. “If it helps to get one alcoholic drink out of the hands of a minor, we did our job. It’s more about education.”

Those charged worked at the following restaurants:

  •  Gecko’s Grill and Pub, 4310 Manatee Ave. E.
  •  Applebee’s Neighborhood Grill, 4658 Manatee Ave. E.
  •  K&S Discount Food & Beverage, 2615 Ninth St. W.
  • n Kwik Stop, 1718 14th St. W.
  • n Shell Gas Station, 3612 Cortez Road.
  •  Danny’s Pizzeria, 7220 Manatee Ave. W.
  • Nicki’s West 59th Restaurant, 1830 59th St W.
  •  Fanatics, 4669 Cortez Road.
  • Gio’s Fabulous Pizza & Martini Bar, 4805 Cortez Road.
  • Mama Onesti’s Italian Restaurant, 4625 Cortez Road.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Manatee man wanted for taxi robberies

        MANATEE -- There is a warrant out for the arrest of a 35-year-old man in connection to an armed robbery of a taxi driver, the Bradenton Police Department reports.

Derrick Williams is the suspect in three armed robberies of taxi drivers that occurred between Saturday morning and Monday morning in the area of City Walk Apartments, 1900 Fifth St. W., detectives say.

Williams made off with an undisclosed amount of money from the armed robberies, according to Det. Nasario Camacho Jr. All three victims gave descriptions matching Williams, and investigators were able to pick up Williams’ fingerprints on the third taxi.
Williams is described as 6 feet tall, 180 pounds and has tattoos on his arms, back and chest.

Anyone with information on his whereabouts should contact Camacho at (941) 932-9300 ext. 312 or CrimeStoppers at (866) 634-TIPS (8477) to be eligible for a cash reward.

Woman loses her purse in snatching in Bradenton

MANATEE — A woman had her purse snatched Friday morning as she walked near the intersection of Fifth Street East and 59th Avenue East in Bradenton, according to the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office.
Two suspects got out of a white Ford Expedition, snatched the purse from the woman’s shoulder and drove away with it. The purse contained a cell phone and personal items with no substantial value, according to a report.
The woman was not hurt.
The robbery happened about 11:40 a.m.

Man loses $4 in change in mugging in Manatee

MANATEE -- Muggers stole $4 in change from a man while he was walking in the 1400 block of 53rd Avenue West on Friday morning, according to the Manatee County Sheriff's Office.
About 10:48 a.m., the man was walking to the Magic Mile shopping plaza to buy cigarettes. When he passed the suspects, they asked him for money. He declined and began running from them as they approached, according to the sheriff's office.
The victim was hit on the head from behind and was knocked out. When he regained consciousness, his change was missing from his right front pocket, according to the sheriff's office.
The suspects were described as possibly being homeless men in their 40s.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Feds say fugitive believed to be in Tampa Bay region

 Eric Bell

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement is asking Tampa Bay residents to be on the lookout for Eric Bell, a fugitive wanted on sex trafficking, child pornography and other charges. His case was featured this past Saturday on "America's Most Wanted" television program, which has generated several new tips about his possible whereabouts.

Bell was last seen in Tampa on Feb. 2.

Here is new press release from ICE:
Tampa Bay fugitive profiled on ‘America's Most Wanted’ generates new leads

TAMPA, Fla. – Since the profiling of a federal fugitive wanted for sex trafficking of a minor in Tampa was aired on the national television program “America's Most Wanted” on Saturday, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE's) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) special agents say that more than a dozen new leads have been generated.

The agents and their partners on the Clearwater Area Task Force Against Human Trafficking (CATFHT) are hopeful that at least half of those tips are strong enough to lead them to his capture.

Bell was last seen near Tampa on Feb. 2 driving a black Ford Excursion or Expedition. He's a black male, 5 feet, 9 inches tall and approximately 185 pounds. He has road rash scars on his midsection from a motorcycle accident and a tattoo across his chest reads, "Eric loves Vickie." He has past criminal convictions ranging from larceny to possession of and intent to distribute cocaine.

Bell is wanted for sex trafficking of a minor victim, producing child pornography and other charges. A federal criminal complaint was filed in the Middle District of Florida on Jan. 3, 2011.

On June 11, the program profiled Bell as one of most wanted fugitives in America during the show’s “Be On the Look Out” (BOLO) segment.

“Few crimes are more heinous than the sex trafficking of minor victims, which is why Bell is at the top of our ‘most wanted’ list,” said Susan McCormick, special agent in charge of ICE HSI in Tampa. “Seeing this case prosecuted is a top priority for my office and for our law enforcement partners on the Clearwater Area Task Force Against Human Trafficking. We are hopeful that someone saw the show and will provide details that lead to his arrest."

If you have information related to Bell's whereabouts, please call ICE HSI at (813) 357-7130 or Clearwater Police Department at (727) 562-4916.

Clearwater Area Task Force Against Human Trafficking (CATFHT) is made up of investigators from the Clearwater Police Department, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Florida and several other local, state and federal agencies.

For more information on the CATFTH, visit

Monday, June 13, 2011

Manatee sheriff's detectives investigate early morning shooting

MANATEE - A 30-year-old man was shot in his car early Monday morning while stopped at a Palmetto intersection, according to the Manatee County Sheriff's Office.

About 2:05 a.m., the victim was stopped at the intersection of Fourth Avenue and 25th Street East, Palmetto, when the suspects approached and asked him for a ride. They then began shooting, striking him several times, according to a news release.

The suspects then fled. The sheriff's office did not provide a description of the suspects.
400 25th St. E., Palmetto, FL

"Detectives do not believe this was a random incident," the news release states.

The victim was taken to Bayfront Medical Center in St. Petersburg, where he was listed in critical condition, according to the sheriff's office.

Anyone with information about the shooting can call the sheriff's office at (941) 747-3011 or Crime Stoppers at (866) 634-TIPS.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Land surveyors rescued twice after they get lost in East Manatee swamp

MANATEE -- The Manatee County Sheriff's Office had to rescue two land surveyors twice this week after they got lost in an East Manatee swamp.

On Wednesday, William M. Pyle Jr. and Mark M. Coxwell, who were working as subcontractors for the Southwest Florida Water Management District, were working in a swamp off Wauchula Road, when their vehicle got stuck. They were able to get out of the swamp on foot unharmed except for some mild dehydration with the assistance of the sheriff's office aviation unit and EMS paramedics, according to a report.

The next day, at about 5:25 p.m., Pyle and Coxwell entered the swamp from the 7600 block of Wauchula Road to retrieve their vehicle and soon again were in trouble, according to the sheriff's office

"While in the swamp attempting to retrieve their vehicle the two again became dehydrated and required the assistance of the MCSO and the Myakka City Fire Department to navigate out of the swamp," the report states.

Specifically, deputies dropped several bottles of water to the pair, and were able to navigate them back to safety. Once back at Wachula Road, Pyle and Coxwell declined medical attention.

Their boss, who apparently had advised the men not to return to the swamp, told authorities he would be sending a crew with better equipment and a better plan to retrieve the vehicle stuck in the swamp.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Palmetto man on probation in more hot water

 Malcolm McAllister

MANATEE -- A 20-year-old Palmetto man was in jail after investigators say he used a gun to try to rob two men and then threatened to shoot them as they chased him as he fled, according to the Manatee County Sheriff's Office.

The incident began about 3:40 p.m. Thursday at the Tuscany Lake apartments, 5434 36th St. Court E., Palmetto. As one of the two victims was getting into a vehicle driven by the other victim, Malcolm Xavier-Javais McAllister got into the back seat and placed a gun to the head of the passenger and demanded money, according to a news release.

"I am not playing, this gun is loaded," McAllister said, according to the report.

The passenger said he did not have any money. McAllister then fled, with the two victims in pursuit. At one point McAllister turned and pointed the gun at his pursuers, stating, "Don't test me, I am going to shoot all of you," the report states.

McAllister then ran to a second-floor apartment and went inside.

Responding deputies questioned the occupants, including McAllister who was arrested after the victims and a witness identified him as the gunman. During a search of the apartment, deputies found a gun in the bottom drawer of the stove, according to the report.

A check of criminal databases revealed that the gun had been reported stolen, according to the sheriff's office.
McAllister was being held without bond at the Manatee County jail on charges of aggravated assault, attempted robbery and burglary. He also faces charges that he violated probation he received earlier this year when he was convicted of marijuana possession and carrying a concealed weapon.