BROOKSVILLE — A man who drove the getaway car in the 2011 robbery of a High Point salon and then robbed a Bank of America a few days later is headed to prison for 10 years.
Demetrio Crespo, 44, pleaded no contest last week to two counts of robbery and one count of conspiracy to commit robbery.
On July 16, 2011, Crespo waited outside the High Point Beauty Salon at 12085 Cortez Blvd. while 25-year-old Raymond T. Dawson went into the business wearing a mask and carrying a .38-caliber pistol. After grabbing $300 cash from a register, Dawson fled. The store's video surveillance camera showed him getting into a Ford Explorer driven by Crespo.
Two days later, Crespo acted alone when he robbed the Bank of America branch at 7184 Mariner Blvd. The Spring Hill resident was caught later that day when a deputy stopped him at California Street and Powell Road for driving a Mercury Sable with no tag.
After his arrest, Crespo admitted to involvement in the salon robbery. Crespo told authorities that he and Dawson committed the robbery to feed their drug habit and that they chose the salon at random after driving around for some time.
The maximum penalty for the bank robbery was 15 years in prison, but Crespo faced up to a life sentence for the salon robbery because a firearm was used.
"We thought that (the 10 years) was a deal he should take based on the facts we knew at the time," said Crespo's attorney, Peyton Hyslop.
For his role in the salon robbery, Dawson, of Spring Hill, pleaded no contest last month to robbery with a firearm, conspiracy to commit robbery and possession of a firearm by a felon.
Already on probation at the time of his arrest for the salon robbery, Dawson was sentenced to 15 years in prison, with credit for time served.
Tony Marrero can be reached at [email protected] or (352) 848-1431. Follow him on Twitter @TMarreroTimes.