Manatee County deputies investigating crime wave of bar robberies

Manatee County deputies investigating crime wave of bar robberies

MANATEE COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – In Manatee County, a group of men have been robbing bars. The Manatee County Sheriff’s Office is now asking for the public’s help catching the criminals.

Manatee County bar theft suspect

On Saturday night, Bubba’s Too, 5435 15th St. E in Bradenton, was invaded by a group of armed men, and it was all caught on surveillance video. After storming inside, the men rummaged through the register, stealing cash. They then forced the bartender onto the ground at gunpoint while she pleaded for her life. And during the chaos, a bar patron was punched in the face and shoved onto the ground.

“We need to get these people off the streets because they’re dangerous,” Manatee County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Dave Bristow said.

The Bubba’s Too bar was not alone. Deputies say crooks have robbed four bars during the past three weeks including Three Oaks Bar, Oasis Bar and the Scalawags bar that was just hit Monday night.

Officials believe the crimes are likely connected. “We’re working under the premise that they are. We can’t say for sure, but certainly when you look at everything involved in each one, they appear to be related,” Bristow said.

Bubba’s Too manager Joann Rossa says a lot of her customers have stayed away since this weekend’s heist. “This is a big family bar. It’s always been a family bar, and we’d like to have our family bar back,” Rossa said.

She’s nervous to come to work. “It can happen in the daytime, too. You never know when it could happen,” Rossa added.

Patrons like Grier Buckingham want these suspects caught before it’s too late. “We don’t want to see these people die. We want this to stop,”  Buckingham said.

The Sheriff’s Office is committed to getting these criminals off the streets. “What we’re doing is working the case around the clock,” Bristow said.

Authorities say each crime was similar and involved either three or four armed men. If you have any information about this case, call the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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