Manatee County Sheriff's Office detectives arrested a 26-year-old East County man in connection with the July 26 home invasion in Lakewood Ranch.
According to a sheriff's office report, George Hand, of 2904 block of 58th St. Ct. E., was charged with armed home invasion, two counts of false imprisonment and two counts of aggravated assault with a firearm. These charges stem from a home invasion that occurred at 6 p.m. Tuesday, July 26, on Misty Morning Court in Edgewater.
Hand is also a suspect in a home invasion that occurred on Sunday, July 17, on Waters Edge Way. Charges are pending in that case.
The break in the case came July 27 when a deputy responded to a domestic disturbance at Hand’s residence. Hand fled the residence before deputies arrived. However, during the investigation, deputies discovered information possibly linking Hand to the home invasions.
Hand was arrested this morning and charged with carrying a concealed firearm and possession of marijuana. He later was charged in connection with the home invasion and an unoccupied burglary that occurred this morning in east Bradenton.
During the July 17 incident, police say Hand rang the doorbell of a home on Waters Edge Way and then forced his way into the home, where he held the victim against his will and ransacked the house looking for items to take. Hand then loaded items into the victim's vehicle and ordered the victim into the vehicle.
The suspect eventually released the victim on the side of the road at Lorraine Road and University Parkway. Deputies recovered the stolen vehicle in a nearby shopping plaza. It had been set on fire, the report states.
During the July 26 incident, Hand again knocked on the front door of a home in the 8400 block of Misty Morning Court, where he pulled out a gun on the homeowner and entered the home. The suspect tied up a guest of the homeowner and stole her jewelry. Hand also bound the homeowner and attempted to take him out of the residence in the homeowner's vehicle, the report states.
The guest was able to free herself and call 911, and Hand fled before authorities arrived, the report states.
At this time, it’s unclear why Hand targeted the two residences. Anyone with additional information on these incidents is asked to contact MSO at 941-747-3011, Ext. 2555 or Crime Stoppers at 866-634-TIPS.
Contact Pam Eubanks at [email protected].