Elderly couple robbed at gunpoint in Bradenton

BRADENTON, Fla. (WFLA) – Manatee County deputies say on Saturday morning, there were two reported armed robberies that both involved the elderly.

One couple was robbed while they were on their morning walk, while another elderly man was robbed outside his car in a Dollar Tree parking lot.

Early Saturday morning, 90-year-old Chester Iceman was walking with his 85-year-old wife Maxine in their neighborhood on 5th Street East. They were wrapping up their walk, and right outside their house when they noticed a white truck pass by.

“We were coming back and got over to the neighbor’s mailbox here, and seen this truck come by and stop,”Chester said. “Next thing I know I was on the ground and he says ‘I want your money!’”

The two wrestled on the ground. “He had me pinned where I couldn’t do nothing,” he recalled.

Chester tried to fight. “I hit him a couple of times with my cane and it didn’t do any good. He might have a sore rib,” he chuckled.

Maxine remembered, “[Chester] was flipping around like a rag doll.”

She became angry. “You’re not doing that without a fight,” she recalled.

So Maxine tried to fight back. She said, “When he seen me make one step, all I could see was a fist coming at my head. So down I went.”

The suspect was able to snatch Chester’s wallet and took off. He recalls the suspect wore a cap, a white shirt and blue pants.

“He kept his face away from me. I ain’t ever seen his face,” Chester said. “It just shocked me so much that I wasn’t able to do anything. I just never thought of someone coming up behind me.”

“I’m just glad that my wife and I weren’t hurt,” Chester said.

Later that morning, a 99-year-old man was robbed as he got out of his car in a Dollar Tree Parking lot on 53rd Avenue West. That suspect was also in a white pickup truck. The truck was captured on a surveillance camera.

Officials say it’s possible these two cases are connected. There have been no other similar crimes reported since then, so the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office does not believe the elderly are being targeted. However, they encourage everyone to be aware of their surroundings. And they’re asking the public to provide any information if they recognize the truck from the photograph.

Chester and his wife are not deterred. They’ve lived in the area for many years and have never had a problem with crime. They still go out on their morning walks.

“I’m not afraid,” Chester said. “I just don’t carry any money.”

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