Palmetto teen facing 27 charges related to Sarasota, Bradenton gun shop burglaries

Sarasota County

SARASOTA, Fla. (WFLA) – A 15-year-old from Palmetto is facing serious charges in Sarasota after police say he used a stolen vehicle to break into a local gun shop last week. The teen was arrested for a similar crime a few months back; he was only 14-years-old at the time.

The Bullet Hole in Sarasota has several security measures in place. The store’s owner, Francis Misantone, tells 8 On Your Side the teen tried breaking in through a front window with no luck, so he used an SUV to gain entry toward the back of the business. He got away with three of the owners’ personal guns. All three have since been recovered by police.

Charges in Sarasota incident:

• Armed Burglary
• Burglary by using a Motor Vehicle
• Burglary Causing Damage to a Structure in Excess of $1,000
• Fleeing to Elude
• Driving without a License
• Three (3) counts of Theft of a Firearm
• Criminal Mischief

The Bradenton break-in happened on January 4. Police say the teen got away with 15 firearms. Only one has been recovered to date.

Charges in Bradenton incident:

• Armed Burglary
• Grand Theft
• Fifteen (15) counts of Theft of a Firearm
• Criminal Mischief

Misantone says it’s frustrating knowing the teen got away with a slap on the wrist compared to the consequences an adult might face in similar crimes. He wants to see the teen held accountable for his actions so a similar crime doesn’t happen again.

“He’s been caught and is known and they just keep letting him out. I can’t fathom it,” said Misantone. “This young man will continue to get away with it, do it and do it and do it until he turns 18. When he is 18, then he’s not gonna get away with it because if they catch him again, they will put him away,” he continued.

As for the weapons that are still unaccounted for, retired Sarasota officer Randy Boyd tells 8 On Your Side most stolen weapons end up in the same place.

“They are on the street and they are going to be used in the commission of crimes, I promise you. So, it is a shame; it is a sad thing,” Boyd said.

The teen is being held at the Sarasota County Jail.

8 On Your Side asked the State Attorney’s Office if the teen will be charged as an adult, given his history. We haven’t received a response back yet.

Anyone with information on this case is asked to call Detective Kim Laster at 941-263-6827 or leave an anonymous tip with Crime Stoppers by calling 941-366-TIPS or online at www.sarasotacrimestoppers.com

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