Posted May 4, 2015 – 6 PM
Detectives from the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office have arrested two suspects who attempted to rob the victims at gun point after they responded to an ad on Craigslist on two different occasions.
According to the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office, the first crime occurred at about 1:23 PM on Friday, April 24, 2015. It occurred in the backyard of a vacant private residence located at 1730 St. Croix Drive in unincorporated Clearwater. Deputies say the 40 year-old victim responded to the address and initially no one was there. He was responding to a Craigslist ad to look at a motorcycle for sale. The victim texted the subject who advised he’d be right over. The victim left the area briefly and returned a short time later. Deputies say upon the victim’s return, one suspect called the victim over into the back yard of the home. Moments later another suspect entered the back yard, pointed a gun at the victim and demanded cash. The uninjured victim ran out to the front yard to call for help. Neighbors called 911 as the suspects fled on foot.
The second robbery occurred on April 26, 2015 at approximately 10:37 PM at 1512 Cedar Street in Safety Harbor.
Through various investigative techniques, Boon and Lee were identified and arrested. Boone was arrested on May 1, 2015 at approximately 7:00 AM at Clearwater High School. Lee was arrested on May 1, 2015 at approximately 9:00 AM at 1865 Audrey Drive, Clearwater.
In the first incident there were three suspects and in the second incident there were five suspects. Detectives are still investigating to identify the remaining suspects. Anyone with information that may assist in this investigation are asked to contact Detective Stephen Bergstrom of the Robbery/Homicide Unit at (727) 582-6200 or to remain anonymous and be eligible for a reward contact Crime Stoppers at 1800-873-TIPS or www.crimestoppersofpinellas.org.
The Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office wants to remind the public to be aware of your surroundings and choose a safe place when responding to any online ads. When choosing a location make sure it is a public place open for business, a well-lit area and do not go alone.
Some local law enforcement agencies have created “safe areas” for people to conduct online transactions. The area are often located in parking lots of the police department with surveillance monitoring. Both Largo Police Department and Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office has encouraged safe transactions on their premises. Check with your local law enforcement agency for their participation in this service.
Video of Suspects from Robbery #1