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Friday, Jul 11, 2014

St. Pete pair arrested in armed abduction, robbery


Published:

A woman, identified from an ATM security video, and her boyfriend were arrested Wednesday in an April abduction and robbery, St. Petersburg police said.

Juliann Betancourt, 26, and Jeffrey Santiago, 49, both of St. Petersburg, were taken into custody without incident in the area of 3700 Fourth Street North, police said.

Their arrests stem from the April 21 abduction at knifepoint and robbery of a 55-year-old man who was acquainted with Betancourt, police said.

The victim let the couple into his house about 9 p.m., police said. A few hours later, Santiago took out a knife and forced the victim into his own vehicle, took his debit card and demanded his PIN number, police said.

According to investigators, Betancourt and Santiago made an ATM withdrawal and drove the victim back to his home.

Santiago fled in the victimís vehicle and Betancourt left in a black sedan, police said. The victimís abandoned vehicle was later found burning, police said.

The woman, police said, used the debit card a few hours later at the ATM of TD Bank, 425 22nd Ave. N. An image of the woman from the ATMís security camera was released to the public May 6.

Through subsequent investigation, Betancourt was identified from the ATM photo, police said. Santiago was identified as the man with the knife during the robbery and abduction, police said.

Betancourt, of 5341 39th Ave. N., faces charges of armed robbery and arson. She was in the Pinellas County Jail with bail set at $60,000.

Santiago, a transient, faces charges of armed robbery and possession of a prescription drug. He was jailed with bail set at $52,000.

Detectives advise that additional charges are pending.

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