Detectives Investigate A Spree of Robberies Involving an Assault Rifle
On Tuesday, October 25th between 5:11 a.m. to 6:02 a.m. a series of armed robberies and attempted armed robberies took place at 6 different locations in south St. Petersburg.
It appears that all the robberies were committed by the same two suspects who were armed with at least one assault style rifle. It appears that midway through the robbery spree the suspects switched vehicles, both of which were stolen and have since been recovered.
At this time the general suspect description is that of two black males in their early twenties. One suspect was wearing a rather distinctive jacket.
A summary of the robberies in sequential order are as follows:
20th Avenue South / 7th Street South
The two victims were leaving their home to head to the hospital when they were approached by two suspects in a white Mercury Sable. One suspect got out of the driver’s side with an assault rifle and demanded their money and property. One of the victims told the suspect they didn’t have any property. The second suspect got out of the passenger side and tapped the first suspect on the shoulder. They then left the scene to the second armed robbery:
19th Avenue South / 7th Street South
These two victims (grandmother and grandchild), were at the Frank Pierce bus stop waiting on a school bus. The white Mercury Sable pulled up in front of the stop, and a black male got out of the passenger side of the car. He was wearing a black bandana covering his face, and was holding an assault rifle. The suspect demanded their back pack and purse. The items were turned over to the suspect and they fled in the vehicle.
4530 4th Street South
The single male victim was in his garage, doing the laundry and smoking a cigarette with the garage door open. The black male suspect approached him on foot with an assault rifle. The suspect pointed the gun at the victim and ordered him to take off his pants. The victim pulled his pants down, and the suspect began to lower the rifle. The victim then grabbed the barrel in an attempt to move the muzzle away from him. While doing so, the gun was fired and he was struck in the left ankle. The suspect then fled to a minivan where a second suspect was waiting. They left the scene in this minivan.
18th Avenue South / 49th Street South
Officers responded to an aggravated assault at 18th Avenue and 49th Street South. The juvenile victims advised they were walking to school when they observed a maroon van pull up to them. Two or more black males exited the van armed with a rifle. The juveniles advised they immediately ran.
1501 34th Street South (Mystic Gas Station)
The victim in this case is a vendor and had just arrived at the service station. He exited his vehicle with his business ledger. He observed a maroon mini-van pull into the north drive way of the business. The victim advised as he approached the front door of the business, he observed the driver of the van, a black male exit. The black male was armed with an assault rifle. The suspect demanded his wallet. He then questioned the suspect. The suspect fired one round from the rifle in his direction. The victim was not struck. The round penetrated the roll up front door of the business. The victim threw his wallet to the ground. The suspect took the victim’s wallet and black ledger. He was last seen traveling south on 34th Street.
3166 18th Avenue South (Sports Cuts Barber Shop)
The owner and his son were opening the business when they were approached by a black male suspect with an AK-47 style rifle. The suspect ordered the victim to drop his pants. The victim turned over a back pack with his cash, wallet, IDs and credit cards. The suspects fled in a burgundy colored mini-van.