Watchful neighbors noticed a ladder against a duplex Jan. 5 and triggered a law enforcement response that resulted in the arrest of two alleged burglars.
Shawn David Bozarth, 22, identified as homeless, and Ian Michael Beck, 21, of Bradenton, face felony charges of burglary. Beck also faces a violation of probation charge; he was seven days from completing his probation on a prior burglary conviction when arrested.
The arrests took place at about 4:30 p.m., with authorities taking the suspects into custody in two locations.
BBPD detective Sgt. Lenard Diaz took Bozarth into custody near the intersection of Holmes Boulevard and Gulf Drive in Holmes Beach, as the suspect apparently walked toward MartiniVille, where he worked as a pizza maker.
Diaz first saw the suspect, who fit witness descriptions, sitting at a trolley shelter in Bradenton Beach. The detective watched the suspect get into a white car and followed the vehicle to Holmes Beach, where Holmes Beach Police Department officers were on the alert and ready. At Holmes Boulevard, the suspect encountered three HBPD vehicles, along with a BBPD patrol.
“He got out of the car and started to jog toward MartiniVille,” said Diaz, adding that he asked the suspect for his name. The man answered, “Shawn,” and Diaz said he replied, “We’re looking for you.”
Beck was taken into custody near the volunteer fire station in Bradenton Beach, where he was first stopped by a citizen who heard descriptions of the two suspects over an emergency radio.
“He saw the guy coming out from between two houses and ordered him to the ground,” Diaz said of the citizen.
The incident began about an hour earlier, when two residents noticed two men with a ladder leaning against a second-story apartment in the 300 block of Bay Drive North. The residents saw one man on the ladder and the other on the ground, holding the ladder.
The residents also noticed a car parked nearby with the engine running, which they thought was odd, according to a BBPD report.
When the two residents asked the men what they were doing, the men fled in different directions, prompting a call to authorities. One of the witnesses said he recognized Bozarth because he had worked with him at MartiniVille.
Later, the resident of the burglarized apartment told BBPD that a screen was removed and a window opened to her apartment. Just inside the window, the witness noticed that pillows had been moved, indicating someone was inside.
Diaz said the BBPD appreciated its concerned citizens, as well as the assistance from the Holmes Beach Police Department and the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office, which dispatched a helicopter crew to the Island.
He added that BBPD shared its arrest information with other law enforcement, including HBPD, which investigated a number of residential burglaries in 2010.
“Holmes Beach is very much aware of this,” Diaz said.
Both Beck and Bozarth were taken to the Manatee County jail. Their bond was set at $7,500 and arraignments scheduled for Feb. 11.