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Date of Issue: October 12, 2006

Kingfish armed robbery belongs to MCSO

Just a few weeks after the Holmes Beach Police Department said it no longer has jurisdiction over Kingfish Boat Ramp and the lands just east of Westbay Cove condominiums along Manatee Avenue, three men pulled off an armed robbery at the boat ramp Oct. 2, making off with an undisclosed amount of cash and property.

According to the Manatee County Sheriff's Office report of the incident, three unknown black males approached two men at the boat ramp around 12:30 a.m. Oct. 2. One of the unknown men pulled out what appeared to be a silver handgun and demanded money. The armed man then told the victims to take off their clothes, get into the water and start swimming.

The suspects got into a white vehicle and fled east on Manatee Avenue, the report said.

Holmes Beach Police Lt. Dale Stephenson said HBPD was the "first responder" to the incident, but turned over investigation of the case to the MCSO as the "proper law enforcement agency for jurisdiction." The victims were not from Holmes Beach, the MCSO report indicated.

Although the area east of Westbay Cove is technically within the jurisdiction of the MCSO, Stephenson said city police "continue to patrol the area" on a regular basis and assist the MCSO in any incident, such as the Oct. 2 armed robbery.

A Manatee County survey map of Kingfish Boat Ramp and the east end of Holmes Beach along Manatee Avenue claims a portion of Westbay Cove is within the unincorporated portion of the county, not Holmes Beach.

In response, a survey done for Holmes Beach recently shows all of Westbay Cove within the Holmes Beach city limits, but the boundary begins just a few feet east of the end of Westbay Cove's property on Manatee Avenue.

Those surveys prompted Holmes Beach Police Chief Jay Romine to turn over jurisdiction of any case in the disputed area east of Westbay Cove to the MCSO, although Holmes Beach police will continue to patrol along Manatee Avenue up to the Anna Maria Island Bridge, including Kingfish Boat Ramp.

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