BREAKING: Back-to-Back Gas Station Robberies Lead to High-Speed Pursuit
UPDATE: 10/10/2016, 10:30 A.M.: According the Florida Highway Patrol, Trooper Art Gartner attempted to conduct a traffic stop on a vehicle that matched the description of the one used in the Mobile gas station robbery at 6200 Cortez Blvd. Trooper Gartner noticed the vehicle driving recklessly, so he activated his emergency lights but the vehicle did not stop.
Deputies with the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office deployed stop sticks, disabling the vehicle, and the suspect was arrested without further incident.
Trooper Gartner has charged the suspect, 28-year-old Alexander Xavier Diaz-Garcia with Fleeing and Eluding, DUI, Driving without a License, and Reckless Driving.
As stated in the original report, the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office will have jurisdiction over the Mobile gas station robbery, if the suspect is formally charged with that crime.
Citrus County Officials have not responded to our request for information regarding the alleged robbery in their county.
We will bring more on this story as it develops.
WEEKI WACHEE – Numerous law enforcement officers responded to the area of Commercial Way and Cortez Blvd Sunday evening, after reports of not one but two armed robberies.
According to our sources, the Mobile Gas Station, located at 6200 Commercial Way, was robbed just after 10:00 p.m. by a man who got away with an undisclosed amount of cash. The suspect fled the scene in a Ford SUV, northbound towards Citrus County.
Minutes after the first robbery, the suspect robbed a gas station at the intersection of US-98 and Commercial Way. There are unconfirmed reports that the Circle K, located at 9406 South Suncoast Blvd., is the second location hit by the same suspect.
The suspect then made the bizarre decision to head back south into Hernando County, where Sheriff’s Deputies and Florida Highway Patrol Troopers were actively searching for the suspect.
Deputies say the suspect was clocked at 104 mph, as he made his way towards Cortez Blvd. A high-speed pursuit ensued, due to suspicions that the vehicle was driven by the suspect who committed a forcible felony. Spike strips were deployed in the area where the original robbery occurred, which disabled the vehicle and quickly brought the chase to an end. The suspect was taken into custody, just west of Commercial Way on Cortez Blvd.
We spoke to Mobile Store Clerk, “Doug,” who tells RNRF that the suspect demanded cash from the register and threatened to shoot him if he didn’t comply. Doug says the suspect didn’t display the weapon but he gestured towards his waistband, where he could see an impression of what he thought was a firearm. Doug says “I gave him the money because it’s not worth dying over.”
There is some speculation that the suspect, who has yet to be identified, was highly intoxicated during the robberies and subsequent pursuit. The Florida Highway Patrol would have jurisdiction over any charges related to driving under the influence and the respective County agencies will be in charge of the two robbery investigations.
We will continue to update this story as new information develops.
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