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Longboat Key Sunday, Jun. 9, 2019 1 week ago

Third suspect in Longboat Key armed robbery convicted

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Two other men sentenced to state prison after pleading guilty in 2018.
by: Eric Garwood Managing Editor

The final suspect to appear in court in connection with an April 2018 armed robbery on Longboat Key has been convicted and will likely spend years, if not decades, in state prison when he is sentenced, Longboat Key Police said.

Latarious Harvey, a 28-year-old Bradenton man, was found guilty last week in Sarasota County for the 12th Circuit Court on a series of felony charges, including armed robbery with a firearm and a mask – which carries a maximum sentence of life in prison.

Harvey has not yet been sentenced following the jury trial, which ran June 3-6. Two other suspects plead guilty to similar charges and received state prison sentences of eight and 20 years.

Harvey, Travis Cooper, a 27-year-old Bahamian national with a residence in Bradenton, and Eric Dudley, 27, of Bradenton, were charged with multiple offenses in connection with the robbery of a couple staying at a Longboat Key condominium more than a year ago.  Cooper received eight years in late 2018 and will be deported to the Bahamas once released. Dudley received 20 years after his plea in March.

 On April 10, 2018, police said the trio tracked the visiting couple from a restaurant and department store in Bradenton and followed them to the Islander Club condominium complex at around 10:30 p.m. after identifying them as “affluent.”

In the condo parking lot, the thieves, two of whom were armed with semi-automatic pistols, stole a Rolex watch valued at $35,000, a wallet, a purse, $220 in cash, 10 credit cards and the keys to a 2014 Mercedes convertible — a vehicle  the men also tried to steal. They abandoned the attempt to steal the car when they failed at shifting it into gear.

“After a few seconds of trying, they got out of their Mercedes and got into their original vehicle and fled at a high rate of speed out of the parking lot,” police wrote in the original incident report from 2018.

That’s when the victims got back into the Mercedes and honked the horn “to get someone’s attention,” according to police.

Civilian witnesses called police and chased the robbers south on Gulf of Mexico Drive, and a description of the getaway car was relayed from them to Longboat Key Police to Sarasota county and city law enforcement.

A chase on the mainland ended in Manatee County with the arrest of Harvey, and the escape on foot of two other men in the car. A Longboat Key witness was brought to the scene of the arrest and identified Harvey as one of the three robbers.

Cooper had no identifiable criminal history at the time of his arrest. Dudley and Harvey have extensive criminal histories, police said.

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