MANATEE COUNTY (WWSB) - Three suspects are on the loose and four have been arrested for alleged robbery, vehicle pursuit, fleeing elude and destruction of evidence.
On Early Friday morning, around 2:40 a.m., seven males wearing hoodies entered the 7-11 Gas Station located at 4920 Moccasin Wallow Rd in Manatee County.
One suspect used a tire iron and made the store clerk get on the floor while the other suspects stole several cartons of cigarettes from the lower drawer below the cigarette display, according to the release from the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office.
Deputies say the suspects fled the scene in two vehicles - a white four-door Toyota and an Acura SUV - after allegedly stealing $3,000 worth of cigarettes from the 7-11.
Before this incident occurred, Manatee County Sheriff’s Office received information from the Largo Police Department about a robbery with individuals who stole cigarette cartons in a separate incident. Deputies say after the robbery occurred in Manatee County, the Bradenton Police Department witnessed the suspects’ Acura SUV drive into the Wawa gas station located on 1st Street.
Deputies say BPD began to follow the Acura SUV on SR-64. Then the MCSO began a vehicle pursuit heading northbound on I-75, according to the release.
Deputies say while northbound on I-75, the suspects in the vehicle continued to throw black plastic bags out of the windows that contained cigarette cartons. The vehicle struck stop sticks twice while on I-75 and while on the ramp to I-75 at the Ellenton exit, and before the on ramp to I-275.
The chase continued to exit 240 on Sun City Center and turned westbound on East College Avenue. The chase turned northbound onto US 41.
Deputies say Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office stopped the chase at Apollo Beach Blvd and US 41. The vehicle attempted to evade the chase, spun out of control, and came to a stop in the middle of US 41.
Deputies say four suspects got out of the SUV and tried to flee on foot, but were immediately arrested by MCSO and HCSO units.
The entire chase lasted around 26 minutes, with speeds reaching up to 70 mph. There were no vehicle crashes during the pursuit.
The four suspects arrested are listed below:
- Brashon D. Hall, 20
- Eric D. Padilla,18
- Traequan J. Moore,18
- Frankie C. Cuevas, 17
Deputies say they believe the suspects taken into custody Friday morning are possibly connected to some of the cases in Hillsborough County, Manatee County and others in the Tampa Bay area.
The other vehicle, the white four-door Toyota, had three suspects inside, who remain on the loose.
If you have any information contact (941) 747-3011.