Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Man arrested in series of video store robberies

A man who robbed several video stores is captured by a security camera during one of the recent Pinellas County holdups.

Clearwater Police Department

A man who robbed several video stores is captured by a security camera during one of the recent Pinellas County holdups.


Man arrested in series of video store robberies

Police have arrested a man they say is responsible for a recent string of video store robberies, including one last month in Largo.

Shermon Andrae Allen, 30, of 4708 Mill Pond Lane in Tampa was booked into the Pinellas County Jail on five counts, including robbery with a deadly weapon, kidnapping and resisting arrest without violence, according to Pinellas County jail records.

Police said detectives received a tip about Allen after seeing a surveillance photo of him from the robbery Tuesday of a Blockbuster video at 2045 Gulf-to-Bay Blvd. in Clearwater.

On Thursday night, officers went to the Countryside Lifestyles Fitness Center, where Allen works, to arrest him.

He ran away, police said, and a police dog found him hiding under a mobile home in the nearby Regency Heights Mobile Home Park at 2550 State Road 580.

In the Clearwater robbery, police say Allen pulled a knife on the store manager as he was opening the store, then handcuffed him in a back room while he tried to get into the store's safe.

Police said Friday they believe Allen, who was being held without bail Friday, also was responsible for three similar holdups recently:

• Hollywood Video at 1477 Main St. in Dunedin on June 23.

• Blockbuster Video at 13819 Walsingham Road in Largo on June 26.

• Blockbuster Video at 300 East Lake Road in East Lake on July 5.

Times staff writer


JWB pays tenant to exit its Pinellas Park building

A countywide board that oversees children's services has a problem that many landlords face — how to get rid of a tenant.

For the Pinellas County Juvenile Welfare Board, the answer: Pay the tenant to go away.

So last week JWB board members voted to write a $140,000 check to WorkNet Pinellas.

In return, WorkNet has said it expects to be out of the JWB building at 4140 49th St. N in Pinellas Park by Oct. 31.

WorkNet Pinellas signed a three-year lease with the JWB in April 2005. The lease contained a clause allowing WorkNet to extend the term through April 2010 if it chose.

JWB executive director Gay Lancaster called WorkNet in January 2007 to tell officials there that her board had voted to sell the building. Lancaster asked what WorkNet would need in order to vacate the building. WorkNet reportedly said it wanted six months' notice.

Sometime last summer, the R'Club offered $2.5-million for the building, so JWB officials began negotiating to get WorkNet out of the building so the R'Club could buy it.

Anne Lindberg, Times staff writer


No layoffs, cuts in city services for year ahead

The City Commission has prepared its proposed $55-million budget for next year, and while there are a few casualties, officials hope none will significantly affect residents.

Overall, Safety Harbor finds itself in better position to weather the economic downtown than some of its larger neighbors. Officials foresee no layoffs and aim to maintain current city services.

Still, there will be decreased merit and cost-of-living increases for all employees. That includes fire union workers, agreed to by the union. Capital improvement projects will be sliced, including funding for brick street restoration.

As proposed, the city's property tax rate would edge up from 2.5 mills to a maximum of 2.7 mills, "but more likely than not it will be 2.6,'' Mayor Andy Steingold said.

Eileen Schulte, Times staff writer


Counselor sentenced in sexual affair with teen

A former youth counselor at Largo Wesleyan Church was sentenced to two years in prison Wednesday for having a sexual relationship with a 15-year-old girl he met while volunteering at the church.

Matthew Crisostomo, 24, of Pinellas Park was arrested in December on a charge of lewd and lascivious battery. Police began investigating him after the girl's mother learned of the relationship.

Crisostomo pleaded guilty to the charge Wednesday. His prison sentence will be followed by three years of probation. He was designated a sexual offender and ordered to have no contact with the girl.

Chris Tisch, Times staff writer

Man arrested in series of video store robberies 07/26/08 [Last modified: Tuesday, November 2, 2010 8:57am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Rays morning after: Wilson Ramos showing glimpses of what's possible in 2018


    The real payoff for the Rays signing C Wilson Ramos last off-season will come in 2018, when he can play a full season fully recovered from right knee surgery.

    And Ramos is giving the Rays a pretty good glimpse of what that can be like.

    In Friday's 8-3 win over the Orioles, he hit a grand slam - …

  2. Buccaneers-Vikings Scouting Report: Watching Kyle Rudolph, Adam Thielen and Everson Griffen


    No matter how much film we study, no matter how much data we parse, we just don't know how an NFL season will unfold.

  3. Pinellas construction licensing board needs to be fixed. But how?

    Local Government

    LARGO –– Everyone agrees that the Pinellas County Construction Licensing Board needs to be reformed. But no one agrees on how to do it.

    Rodney Fischer, former executive director of the Pinellas County Construction Licensing Board Rodney, at a February meeting. His management of the agency was criticized by an inspector general's report. [SCOTT KEELER   |   Times]

  4. Sue Carlton: Job or family when a hurricane's coming — a very Florida conundrum


    It must seem as foreign to Northerners as shoveling snow is to those of us raised in the Sunshine State: The very-Florida conundrum of having to choose between work and family — between paycheck and personal safety — when a hurricane comes.

    A hurricane helps the rest of us acknowledge the police officers, paramedics, hospital personnel, public works employees and others who stay on the job despite the storm. 
  5. After Tampa concert, Arcade Fire members party, preach politics at Crowbar


    After waiting more than a decade for Arcade Fire’s first appearance in Tampa, fans didn’t have to wait long for their second.

    DJ Windows 98, a.k.a. singer Win Butler of Arcade Fire, performed at a "Disco Town Hall" at Crowbar following the band's concert at the USF Sun Dome on Sept. 22, 2017.