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Car theft suspects arrested after chase

A car, foot and swim chase on Longboat Key Sept. 30 led to the arrest of four suspects that are linked to a string of auto burglaries that occurred Sept. 26 on the island.

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  • | 12:20 p.m. October 1, 2015
  • Longboat Key
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Four suspects with potential ties to the burglary of six vehicles Sept. 26 were arrested on Longboat Key just after midnight on Lyons Lane Sept. 30 after running through yards and swimming through canals to try and evade police.

The Key’s south end license plate camera recognition camera alerted police at 12:05 a.m. Sept. 30 that a 2006 four-door white Buick sedan driving onto the Key was listed as stolen in Manatee County.

Two Longboat Key police officers prepared to make a stop of the vehicle in the 5400 block of Gulf of Mexico Drive but the Buick accelerated to 85 miles per hour to evade police when the lights on the squad cars were activated.

Longboat Key Police notified Bradenton Beach Police, Holmes Beach Police and the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office the Buick was headed in the direction of their jurisdictions.

Two minutes later, a Bradenton Beach police officer informed Longboat Key Police the Buick turned east onto General Harris Street, which is a dead end street with four side streets that are also dead ends.

The Buick was located abandoned at 773 Penfield Street and the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office deployed an air support team and K-9 deputy support to try and locate the suspects on foot.

A track for the suspects led police to a boat dock that was wet behind a home at 513 Norton Street.

Holmes Beach Police officers later found and arrested four suspects walking west on Lyons Street toward their squad car.

Ron Maurice Johnson Jr., the driver of the Buick, was charged with grand theft auto and fleeing and eluding police.

Johnathon Hunter, Alexia Simmons and Brianna Scarbrough, all passengers in the Buick, were placed under arrest for grand theft auto and trespass in conveyance, which is defined as willful entry in the stolen car without the permission of the car’s owner.

Longboat Key Police Chief Pete Cumming said the Buick recovered has been identified as linked to five auto burglaries in the 500 and 600 blocks of Bayview Drive and one auto burglary on De Narvaez Drive that all occurred Sept. 26.  

Contact Kurt Schultheis at [email protected]




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