Monday, July 18, 2011

Home invasion a first at Lakewood Ranch

LAKEWOOD RANCH — A man rang the doorbell at a home in a gated community about 5:30 p.m. Sunday and forced his way in when the resident answered, the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office reported Monday.

The intruder held the victim against his will, ransacked the residence, loaded personal items into the resident’s vehicle and ordered the victim into the vehicle, according to a Manatee County Sheriff’s Office report.

The victim was released on the side of the road at Lorraine Road and University Parkway, and later treated for minor injures, deputies said.

The stolen vehicle was found at Market Street and University. It had been set on fire.

Charges of home invasion, false imprisonment, grand theft auto and arson await the suspect.

“We don’t think this was random, but we don’t know for sure,” said Dave Bristow, spokesman for the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office.

Lakewood Ranch has until now been spared from home invasions in Manatee County.

Don O’Leary, a community development supervisor who lives four doors down from the Waters Edge Way address, said the home invasion is one of the most serious crimes at the Ranch he can recollect.

“You don’t expect that in broad daylight,” O’Leary said.

Anyone with information about a crime is asked to call the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office at 941-747-3011 or Crime Stoppers at 866-634-TIPS (8477).

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