SWAT team arrests armed robber

12:34 PM, Jan 8, 2012   |    comments
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Bradenton, FL -- Manatee County SWAT arrested a man earlier today after a standoff at America's Cash Express at 5169 14th Street West in Bradenton.

According to the Manatee County Sheriff's Office, a female clerk entered the business around 8:25 a.m. and was confronted by Jess Cleveland Kelly, who pointed a gun at her and demanded she open the store's safe.

Photo Gallery: SWAT standoff with armed robber

About an hour later, deputies responded to an alarm call and heard screaming inside the store. They broke the glass front door and found the clerk tied up inside. Kelly was gone.

A short while later, deputies say they spotted Kelly on the roof. When Kelly saw the deputies, he climbed back into an air conditioning vent -- the same vent deputies say he used earlier to break into the store.

Deputies say Kelly barricaded himself inside the business for several hours. Other businesses in the building were evacuated and SWAT deployed gas and flash bangs in an attempt to get him to give up. He didn't respond. Following an extensive search of the building, SWAT located Kelly just before 2 p.m. hiding in an air conditioning vent.

Kelly continued to resist and refused to obey more verbal commands so SWAT used additional gas, causing him to surrender.

During the standoff, traffic was re-routed off 14th Street West (US 41 South) between the 49th Ave. and 53rd Ave. as a precaution.

Jess Cleveland Kelly is charged with Armed Robbery, False Imprisonment, Battery on Law Enforcement, Resisting Arrest, and several counts of Felony Criminal mischief. 

Manatee County Sheriff's Office

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