Pinellas Deputies Requesting the Public’s Help After Three Pinellas Armed Robberies
Pinellas County Deputies are currently investigating a string of armed robberies throughout Pinellas County in the past several days. One subject has been taken into custody.
The first robbery occurred on Saturday, December 2, 2017, at approximately 10:50 p.m. at the Citgo located at 8195 Ulmerton Road.
Video from the armed robbery at the Citgo at 8195 Ulmerton Road
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.
The third robbery occurred a few hours later at the Circle K in Oldsmar located at 3170 Tampa Road.
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 two occupants reportedly fled on foot.
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 the hospital after being treated on-scene for a dog bite.
The second individual was not located.
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.
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. Reports indicate that the two suspects involved were armed with handguns.
Detectives have reason to believe that all three robberies are related.
Largo Police also assisted in the apprehension of the suspect Sunday evening and is also investigating a similar armed robbery case. Information on that case can be found HERE
Detectives are requesting the public assistance in identifying other suspects. If you have any information, please contact Robbery/Homicide Unit, Corporal J. Loftus (727) 582-6952 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.