Holmes Beach burglar, attacker on the run

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Manatee County Sheriff’s Office crime scene investigators, including Lt. Darin Bankert, left, huddle June 28 with Holmes Beach Chief Bill Tokajer and MCSO Sgt. Mike Jones in the 500 block of 75th Street, where a female resident was injured by a burglar when she returned home. Islander Photo: Kathy Prucnell
Tom and Tammy Standifer, neighbors to the June 28 burglary and attack, meet Holmes Beach Officer Mike Walker before HBPD checks their home for danger. Islander Photo: Kathy Prucnell

Lock your doors.

That’s the warning that went out to Holmes Beach residents after a brutal attack June 28. Keep your doors locked.

Apparently surprised by the resident on returning home from lunch, the suspect struck the victim repeatedly and ran. Her purse was where she left it, at the door.

Authorities are searching for the burglar who attacked the 71-year-old woman inside her Holmes Beach home in the 500 block of 75th Street.

The victim called 911 at 2:03 p.m. June 28, saying that when she arrived home a man came at her, hitting her “over and over again in the face” and she “lost a lot of blood.”

Manatee County Sheriff’s Deputy Patrick Manning and HBPD Chief Bill Tokajer arrived first at the home and rendered aid to the victim until EMS arrived.

MCSO K-9s were deployed and helicopters were hovering above the neighborhood within the hour. MCSO crime scene technicians responded.

“It appears she interrupted him while he was burglarizing her house,” HBPD Detective Sgt. Brian Hall said.

As of June 29, investigators had no leads, Hall said, adding police “didn’t have a good description” of the suspect, but he wore dark clothing, a hat and a painter’s mask.

It is unknown how he fled the scene, Hall said. And, he added, it may be weeks before lab results on fingerprints and DNA come back.

EMS treated the victim and transported her to Blake Medical Center.

Tokajer reassured the public the victim was stable after a June 30 home visit.

He urged people to secure their homes.

And he asked that people in the neighborhood check home surveillance video between the hours of 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. and report to Hall if they see a possible suspect walking in the area, or a suspicious biker or motorist.

Anyone with information should call Holmes Beach police at 941-708-5804 or email detective@holmesbeach.org.


Neighbors arrive at 75th Street crime scene

“I hope they find him.”

That was Tom Standifer’s sentiment on a hot and steamy Thursday afternoon after learning about a burglary in the neighborhood in the 500 block of 75th Street.

Getting off their bikes, Standifer and wife Tammy observed as law enforcement multiplied at the end of their street.

The couple expressed concern for their neighbor, as well as their dog Cookie.

Until police cleared their home of danger, they worried why their dog wasn’t barking.

Police emerged, announcing their house was safe and their dog was in a back room.

Tom Standifer later brought bottled water from his house to the emergency responders.


            — Kathy Prucnell

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