Deputies Arrest Gas Station Robbery Suspect in Pinellas County

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Deputies Arrest Gas Station Robbery Suspect in Pinellas County

Updated: December 5, 2017 – 9:10 a.m.

Pinellas County Deputies are currently investigating a string of armed robberies throughout Pinellas County in the past several days. Detectives assigned to the Robbery/Homicide Unit have arrested two men following three gas station robberies in Pinellas County.

The first robbery occurred on Saturday, December 2, 2017, at approximately 10:50 p.m. at the Citgo located at 8195 Ulmerton Road.  According to police, the suspects were armed with what appeared to be a black semi-automatic handgun. Once inside the gas station, the suspects demanded money from the store clerk. The suspects then fled the gas station with an undisclosed amount of cash.

Both suspects exited the gas station and left in a vehicle occupied by a third
suspect. The suspects were involved in another armed robbery in the City of
Largo earlier the same evening.

Video from the armed robbery at the Citgo at 8195 Ulmerton Road

Site of the second armed robbery, the Speedway at 11708 Seminole Blvd

The second robbery occurred on Sunday, December 3, 2017 at approximately 8:30 p.m. at the Speedway located at 11708 Seminole Boulevard.  The store’s clerk was visibly shaken and was evaluated by Fire Medics from Seminole Fire Rescue.

Site of the third armed robbery at the Circle K at 3170 Tampa Road in Oldsmar

The third robbery occurred a few hours later at the Circle K in Oldsmar located at 3170 Tampa Road.

Deputies search the vehicle that the two suspects bailed out of near 66th Street and 125th Avenue N

The description of the suspect’s getaway vehicle appeared similar in each of these robberies.

Following the Oldsmar robbery, a deputy spotted a vehicle matching the description of the getaway vehicle in the area of McMullen Booth Road and Sunset Point Road.

The deputy began to track the vehicle and requested assistance from other deputies and the Sheriff’s Office helicopter (a.k.a. Eagle).  Once additional assets were in place, the deputy attempted to conduct a traffic stop on the vehicle in the vicinity of the Pinellas County Jail on 49th Street.

The driver of the rental vehicle fled the traffic stop and eventually traveled onto southbound US-19 while being tracked by the Eagle.  The vehicle pulled off the roadway in the area of 66th Street and 125th Avenue N where the occupants reportedly fled on foot.

France taken into custody after fleeing from Deputies

After a lengthy search, deputies, Eagle, and a K-9 were able to locate one male who was taken into custody at approximately 11:40 p.m. hiding at the Palm Village RV Park at 12474 66th Street N.  That individual, 24 year-old James L. France of Clearwater, was transported to Northside Hospital after being treated on-scene for a dog bite.

 

 

Video from the Speedway and moments after the arrest

 

France was discharged from the hospital and transported to the Pinellas County Jail where he was booked on charges of Loitering and Prowling and Resisting Arrest without Violence.  Detectives are still trying to investigate what role, if any, France played in the robberies.

Booking photo of Roderick Green

Through various investigative techniques, detectives were able to identify one of the armed robbery suspects as 24-year-old Roderick Greene of Tarpon Springs, Detectives say Greene was responsible for the robberies in Largo and Oldsmar.

On December 4, 2017, Largo Police detectives located and arrested Greene for multiple counts of armed robbery. Pinellas detectives charged Greene with three additional counts of armed robbery.

Additional charges are possible as detectives say this is an active and on-going investigation.

No reported physical injuries occurred in any of the robberies according to police.

Investigators say Largo Police detectives have probable cause for the arrest of 23-year-old Willie Cunningham with regards to armed robberies in their jurisdiction. Pinellas detectives would like to question Cunningham who is also a person of interest in the Largo and Oldsmar robberies.

Booking photo of Willie Cunningham

On Monday, Willie Cunningham turned himself in to the Largo Police Department. He was charged with the following:

Armed Robbery, Citgo gas station 1701 West Bay Dr occurring on 10/04/17
Armed Robbery, Chevron gas station 790 East Bay Dr occurring on 10/04/17

Anyone with information on this case is asked to contact Corporal J. Loftus with the Robbery/Homicide Unit (727) 582-6952, via email at jloftus@pcsonet.com or to remain anonymous and be eligible for a reward contact Crime Stoppers at 1800-873-TIPS or www.crimestoppersofpinellas.org.

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