Manatee County Sheriff's Office detectives believe the man who committed a home invasion in Lakewood Ranch July 26 is the same suspect responsible for a similar crime just nine days before.
Sheriff's office Public Information Office Dave Bristow said the sheriff's office believes the same man is responsible for both home invasions based on factors such as method of operation, subject description and the location of the residences involved.
"These are rare any part any part of county – home invasions that are like this that aren’t drug-related or criminal-related," Bristow said.
"We just ask for people to pay particular attention during the times of the day he seems to be doing this and take precautions, like don’t open your door unless you know who it is," Bristow said.
In yesterday's home invasion, the suspect knocked on the door at about 6 p.m., July 26, at the 8400 block of Misty Morning Court in Edgewater. The owner of the residence opened the door and saw the suspect standing there. The suspect asked for someone that did not live there. The owner told the suspect he had the wrong house. The suspect replied that he had the right house as he pulled out a pistol from his waistband.
The suspect pointed the pistol at the homeowner and entered the residence. He told the owner he was not going to hurt him. A guest also was at the home. The suspect took the guest into the master bedroom and zip-tied the victim's hands and feet to the bedpost. The suspect took the guest’s bracelet, ankle bracelet, ring and a necklace.
The suspect also bound the owner’s hands with zip ties and attempted to take him out of the residence in the owner's vehicle; however the guest’s vehicle was blocking the driveway. The suspect went back into the residence and did not see the guest in the bedroom. The suspect then fled. The guest was able to free herself and had crawled under the bed and called 911.
The suspect is described as a white male, 20 years old and 6 feet tall. He was clean-shaven and wearing a light-colored hat and T-shirt and khaki shorts.
The circumstances are similar to the crime that took place at 5:30 p.m., July 17, at a home on Waters Edge Way. According to a sheriff’s office report, a white male rang the doorbell to the home. The suspect then forced his way inside the home and held the victim against his will.
The man then ransacked the residence for personal items to take. The suspect loaded the items inside 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.
The victim sustained minor injuries and was treated at the scene.
The vehicle was later recovered at the plaza at Market Street and University Parkway. The vehicle had been set on fire.
Anyone with information should call the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office at 747-3011 or Crime Stoppers at (866) 634-TIPS (8477).