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Crime & Courts

One suspect caught in Pasco, two at large after Ybor robberies


Published:   |   Updated: November 1, 2013 at 11:23 AM

Investigators are questioning a 21-year-old man, one of three suspects in a pair of Ybor City armed robberies who led officers on a three-county pursuit early Friday.

Law enforcement in Hillsborough, Pinellas and Pasco counties are still looking for two other males, both described as 14 to 16 years old.

All three fled on foot from a car on U.S. 19 in Tarpon Springs after being chased by officers from three agencies, officials said.

The Pasco County Sheriff’s Office said Patrick Punion was apprehended at a home in Holiday and accused of fleeing to elude after the chase, which began in Tampa and went through Pinellas County. Punion was being questioned by Tampa police but is not yet a suspect in the robberies, spokeswoman Laura McElroy said.

According to investigators, three young males robbed a 39-year-old man and a 19-year-old man in different incidents in Ybor City about 1:30 a.m.

The 39-year-old was walking through a vacant lot at 15th Street and 15th Avenue when two males with guns and another with a baton demanded his cellphone and money from his wallet, police said. The trio took the items and ran.

A short time later, the 19-year-old was walking through the lot and saw a silver Chevrolet Malibu following him. Two males got out of the car and began running toward the 19-year-old, who ran. As he ran, his cellphone dropped out of his waistband, and he saw one of his pursuers pick up his phone, police said.

At 4:30 a.m., a Tampa police detective working the cases was heading home when he spotted a silver Malibu speed by on northbound Interstate 275. The car matched the description of the vehicle in the robberies.

The detective called for patrol officers to conduct a traffic stop, but the Malibu began to flee, police said. The detective pursued the car onto Fowler Avenue into unincorporated Hillsborough County, police said.

Air patrols followed the car through Hillsborough, Pasco and Pinellas counties until the Malibu was abandoned in Tarpon Springs.

Punion was taken into custody after being tracked by K-9 deputies to the home at 3520 Truman Drive in Holiday, authorities said. Deputies said he knew 23-year-old Charquisha Arline, who lived in the home.

Arline’s children, ages 2 and 4, and their 4-year-old cousin, were also inside the home, deputies said. Deputies did not say who has custody of the children at this time.

Arline was also arrested on charges of aiding and abetting, and taken to the county jail in Land O’ Lakes.

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