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Tuesday, Sep 23, 2014

Pinellas teens face charges in armed carjackings


Published:   |   Updated: June 3, 2014 at 08:29 PM

One of two juveniles arrested in connection with a carjacking in Clearwater on Tuesday morning is connected with a carjacking Monday in Largo, police say.

Police said the teens stole the car from Morton Plant Hospital in Clearwater on Tuesday and abandoned it in Pinellas Park. Hours before that, one of the pair was involved in carjacking at a McDonald’s at 7901 Ulmerton Road, the Pinellas Park Police Department said.

Arrested were Edwin Tyree Washington, 15, of Clearwater, and Roy Powell Jr., 17, of St. Petersburg. Washington has been charged with two counts of armed carjacking, one each in the Largo and Clearwater cases. Powell has been charged with armed carjacking in Clearwater, and two counts of burglary in Pinellas Park, the Pinellas Park Police Department said.

According to reports, Susan Biggs, 57, an employee at Morton Plant Hospital in Clearwater, was parked in the main parking lot just west of the hospital when she was confronted by the suspects just before 4:30 a.m. Tuesday.

Biggs, who wasn’t injured, told police one of the suspects, who had a gun, told her to get out of the vehicle, and he and the other suspect drove off.

She called police, and a Clearwater police officer spotted the vehicle on U.S. 19 and began following it as it exited at 66th Street North.

Police say the car then turned onto a dead-end street at 94th Avenue in Pinellas Park, and the suspects crashed into a fence, jumped out and ran.

Because of the search, Cross Bayou Elementary, 6886 102nd Ave. North, Pinellas Park, was placed on lockdown.

While deputies investigated, they saw a male emerge from the water at Cross Bayou Canal. The suspect was arrested at around 8:42 p.m. An hour later, the second suspect was arrested nearby by the Pinellas Park police.

Largo police said the Tuesday morning carjacking in Clearwater mirrors the carjacking Monday night in Largo. That is when a 56-year-old man was approached by an armed male while in the McDonald’s drive-thru, 7901 Ulmerton Rd., Largo. The suspect ordered Heale out of his gray Toyota Rav 4 and drove off in Heale’s SUV.

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