Two teen brothers were arrested and charged with burglary of a vape shop after being caught during an undercover operation, the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office said Wednesday in a press release.

Eight vape shops in Manatee County have been burglarized since Nov. 1, the Sheriff’s Office said.

Detectives said the two teens admitted they had also broken into the same vape shop just two days prior and got the idea after hearing about the “trend.”

They are not connected to the group that has been robbing tobacco businesses in Manatee and Sarasota counties over the past two months, the sheriff’s office said.

At 4:10 a.m. Jan. 2, deputies discovered a robbery in process at the City of Vapors on the 8300 block of Lockwood Ridge Road.

When the deputies arrived, the two brothers ran away through a breezeway into the back of the shopping plaza.

Deputies and K-9s then searched the area and discovered one of the brothers, and bit him on the ankle.

The second was later caught in the 8400 block of Cypress Lake Circle in Sarasota, according to the release.

The two arrested were Elijah Ismael Gonzalez, 18, and a 17-year-old. The Bradenton Herald generally does not name minors accused in nonviolent crimes.

Detectives are still following up on leads in some of those cases.



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