Police will keep close eye on school zones
Beware, first day of school motorists. When Pinellas County students return to class Tuesday, Clearwater police will be positioned around the city to ensure that drivers and pedestrians obey traffic rules around school zones, crosswalks and bus stops. Officers will look for violations during student arrival and dismissal times. Speeding violations in school zones carry the following minimum fines:
• Between 1 and 9 mph over the speed limit: $156.
• Between 10 and 14 mph: $306.
• Between 15 and 19 mph: $406.
• Between 20 and 29 mph: $456.
• For 30 mph or more: court appearance.
Failure to stop for a school bus when the stop signals are activated and the stop arm is extended will result in a $271 penalty.
Man, 30, charged in armed holdup
Pinellas County sheriff's deputies have arrested a 30-year-old Tampa man in connection with a convenience store armed robbery. Sheriff's spokeswoman Cecilia Barreda said Raymond Arzuaga entered the Palm Harbor 7-Eleven at 100 Palm Harbor Blvd. just before 1:45 a.m. Thursday. He approached the clerk, implied he had a weapon and demanded cash, Barreda said. The clerk handed the cash drawer to Arzuaga, who took the money and fled out the front door. He drove off in a white Toyota RAV4. An hour later, a deputy stopped Arzuaga for speeding near County Road 1 and Curlew Road, Barreda said. The stolen money was found inside the Toyota. Arzuaga was in Pinellas County Jail on Thursday in lieu of $50,000 bail.
Store owner back in jail after sting
A convenience store owner who was arrested this month on a charge that he sold alcohol to a minor is back behind bars, police say. Raj's Food and Beverage was shut down Aug. 5 after Largo police received numerous complaints from a parent that someone at the store was selling alcohol to middle school children. Investigators had a 17-year-old aide try to buy alcohol at 11 local liquor stores. Police say the teen was refused at all but one store: Raj's Food and Beverage, 12185 Indian Rocks Road. The owner, Mohammed Shamsul Alam, was arrested, then later charged with selling alcohol to a minor. After the arrest, Largo police received more complaints about Alam. They set up another sting Wednesday, and he was arrested again. "He was again charged with the misdemeanor of selling alcohol to a person under 21," Lt. Mike Loux said. "Additionally, he was also charged with selling tobacco to a minor." Alam, 52, was in the Pinellas County Jail in lieu of $500 bail.