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Thieves use hoodies to smuggle snakes

BRADENTON, Florida (AP) - Some brazen thieves walked into a Bradenton pet store and left with $8,000 worth of snakes hidden in their hoodies.

Manatee County Sheriff's deputies are investigating the Monday afternoon theft at Petland Bradenton. The suspects got away with six snakes, including a 4-foot, red-tailed boa constrictor.

Would-be mermaid banned from swimming pool

LITHIA, Florida (AP) - A woman has been banned from swimming in her community's pool because she wants to wear a mermaid tail.

Manatee woman arrested after kissing cop on the nose

Manatee County, Florida - A Florida woman is in jail on a felony battery on a law enforcement officer charge after deputies say she kissed the arresting officer - against his will - on the nose.

Manatee County deputies arrested Peggy Hill, 62, on Saturday outside her Bradenton home. Deputies were initially called to the house for a dispute between Hill and a neighbor, who were arguing over a fence between their properties.

Teen arrested after cops say she bit man's penis

Bradenton, Florida (AP) - A 19-year-old high school student has been arrested after authorities say she bit her boyfriend's penis when he refused to have sex with her.

Manatee Sheriff's Office said Krystle Harrison made several advances toward her boyfriend of three years and he rebuffed her. According to an arrest report, she grabbed him and bit his genitals.

Hawks dive-bombing Bradenton condo residents

BRADENTON, Florida (AP) - Like a scene out of Alfred Hitchcock's classic movie "The Birds," two red-shouldered hawks have been dive-bombing residents of a retirement community along Florida's Gulf Coast.

The Bradenton Herald reported that some residents of Cortez Villas are using umbrellas to protect their heads from a pair of hawks that are nesting a fledgling in a 40-foot tree.

Rare violin from 1770 stolen from owner

Bradenton, Florida -- A rare violin crafted in 1770 has been reported missing in Bradenton and Manatee County detectives are asking for the public's help to find it.

The owner of the violin reported the instrument missing on Jan. 18 from her home in the 3900 block of 75th Street W. However, after a search of the home showed no signs of forced entry, investigators say it's possible the violin was stolen from the woman's car.

She reportedly last used the violin on Jan. 15.

Woman accidentally shoots fiance at gun range

MYAKKA CITY, Florida -- A Manatee County woman accidentally shot her fiance while at the Logue Road Gun Range in Myakka City.

Lauren Shaw, 28, was firing a gun when a hot casing landed inside her shirt, according to the Manatee Co. Sheriff's Office. While trying to remove the casing, she unknowingly pointed her gun at her fiance, 33-year-old Jared Gould, and accidentally discharged a round.

Deputies say the round struck him in his right upper thigh. He was taken to Manatee Memorial Hospital for treatment. His wound is not life-threatening.