Bradenton man charged in tattoo shop robbery

Keith Smith Jr.
Keith Smith Jr.(Manatee County Sheriff's Office)
Published: Aug. 16, 2021 at 2:19 PM EDT
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MANATEE COUNTY, Fla. (WWSB) - A Bradenton man is facing armed robbery charges after allegedly holding up a tattoo parlor while posing as a police officer.

According to the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office, a suspect entered a tattoo shop in the Whitfield Industrial Area Aug.4 at about 9:30 a.m., and asked to get a tattoo. The shop owner advised the man that he was busy and to come back at 3 p.m.

At about 3:20 p.m., three men wearing masks and carrying handguns entered the shop and announced they were Bradenton Police Department officers. The shop owner recognized one of the robbers as the man who came into the shop earlier that day, deputies said.

The shop owner, his son and the son’s girlfriend were secured with plastic zip ties. The robbers demanded to know “where the money was.” When the shop owner denied having any money, one robber hit him in the back of the head with his handgun. The robbers found $500 in cash and fled the area.

The shop owner was later treated at a hospital for seizures after the blow to his head, the sheriff’s office said.

After viewing surveillance video of the suspects, in which the license plates of the cars used in the robbery could be seen, one suspect was identified as Keith Smith Jr., 41.

Smith was arrested Aug. 13 and charged with armed robbery. He is in the Manatee County Jail under $100,000 bond.

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