Two arrested in Manatee vape shop burglary

Elijah Ismael Gonzalez
Elijah Ismael Gonzalez(Manatee County Sheriff's Office)
Published: Jan. 4, 2023 at 12:37 PM EST
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SARASOTA, Fla. (WWSB) - Two people have been arrested for allegedly breaking into a vape shop on Lockwood Ridge Road Jan. 2, the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office said.

Deputies were conducting undercover surveillance after a string of vape shop burglaries. Shortly after 4 a.m., deputies learned about a burglary in progress at City of Vapors in the 8300 block of Lockwood Ridge Road.

As deputies approached the shop, two suspects fled, running through a breezeway that leads to the rear of the shopping plaza, the sheriff’s office said.

After a search, a K-9 unit found one of the suspects who was trying to hide. During his apprehension, the K-9 bit the suspect on the ankle.

Minutes later, deputies arrested the second suspect nearby.

Elijah Ismael Gonzalez, 19, and a juvenile were charged with burglary to an unoccupied structure after admitting to deputies they broke into the same store two days earlier.

Deputies say Gonzalez claimed they broke into the store after hearing about the current string of burglaries. Detectives do not believe the pair is connected to the same group of suspects hitting vape stores in Manatee and Sarasota counties over the last two months.

Since Nov. 1, detectives have investigated eight burglaries to vape shops in Manatee County. Detectives continue to follow leads on several of those cases.