Recent Manatee County business robberies may be linked

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MANATEE COUNTY- Three recent armed robberies in Manatee County may be linked, and the people responsible may have been caught.

On November 3rd, "U Lucky Dog" Internet Cafe in Palmetto was robbed.

On November 15th, "Fun Spot 2" Internet Cafe in Bradenton was robbed.

On November 19th, Top China Restaurant in Bradenton was robbed.

During all three robberies, detectives say the situations are similar.

"In all three, the suspects are very brazen. They are coming in with weapons drawn. Obviously the propensity for violence here is great," said Dave Bristow with the Manatee County Sheriff's Office.

In addition, the descriptions of the suspects are similar, with them wearing all black clothing and masks. In all three cases, the crooks have forced store employees and customers to the ground, while they take their belongings, as well as money from the cash register and safe."

Cynthia Willis, a Bradenton resident, was at "Fun Spot 2" during the robbery. She says it was the most traumatic experience of her life.

"I thought before they left, they were going to shoot all of us. I thought with all of our heads down, they would shoot before they left," said Willis. "The image just keeps popping up in my head over and over again."

Detectives say they have three men in custody, possibly linked to the robbery at the Chinese restaurant. A 4th suspect remains at large.

Anyone with information of any of the robberies is asked to call Manatee County Crime Stoppers at 866-634-TIPS.