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Office robberies lead to car crash, two arrests

ST. PETERSBURG — A series of insurance office robberies on Tuesday ended with a car crash, a brief manhunt and the arrest of two men, police said.

One suspect was found by a police dog; the other was captured hiding inside a house, police said.

The first robbery was at 4:39 p.m. at Florida No Fault Insurance on 34th Street N, according to police. The office was ransacked by three men, and at least one was armed, police said. The men stole about $500.

At 4:52 p.m., Trust Way Insurance on Central Avenue was robbed. Two men went inside and rifled through cubicles and desks. A witness said one of the men was dressed in black and wore a ski mask; the other was armed with a handgun. They left in a gray Lincoln, police said.

A third robbery was averted when the manager of Direct General Insurance on 34th Street heard that insurance offices were being robbed and told an employee to lock the front door. Soon afterward, an armed man approached the business but left after he couldn't get in, police said.

Undercover officers later saw the robbers' car, but before a high-speed pursuit could be authorized, the car sped off and crashed near Third Avenue S and 45th Street, police said. Both men ran, but were quickly captured, police said.

Marvin Terrell Baxter, 21, of 2800 Fourth St. S, was arrested on charges of armed robbery and burglary. He was being held in the Pinellas County Jail in lieu of $70,000 bail Wednesday. Cavarus Dontrail Lewis, 24, of 452 Sixth St. N, was arrested on a charge of grand theft auto and was being held in lieu of $5,000 bail.

Office robberies lead to car crash, two arrests 12/31/08 [Last modified: Thursday, January 1, 2009 11:41pm]
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