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Carjacking suspected arrested after another robbery

LARGO — A 33-year-old man accused of an armed carjacking last week was arrested Wednesday after he robbed a woman at gunpoint, authorities said.

Rolando Javier Davila-DeLeon, whose address is listed as 2227 First Ave. N in St. Petersburg, was charged with carjacking with a deadly weapon, armed robbery by sudden snatching, leaving the scene of an accident with damage, possession of cocaine and paraphernalia and driving without a valid license.

During a search for Davila-DeLeon, a car sped away from the area, prompting authorities to believe it may have been involved, so they pursued the car into Clearwater. Officials arrested two additional men who are not connected to the carjacking or armed robbery on unrelated charges, police said.

Here's what happened, according to Largo police:

A woman who was sitting in her car and talking on her cell phone at Tri-City Plaza at 5100 East Bay Drive on May 11 said a man approached her, pointed a gun at her and told her to get out of her car, police said.

When the woman got out of her 2010 Mazda sedan, the man stole it.

On Wednesday evening, authorities said, Davila-DeLeon tried to rob another woman at a Hess gas station at 2698 Roosevelt Blvd. He pointed a weapon at her and demanded her purse, but the woman, who was not identified, struggled with him and started yelling for help, Largo police said. The man was able to get the woman's purse and took off in the Mazda which was stolen last week.

After the Mazda crashed near Whitney and Frontage roads, near U.S. 19 N, the man ran away and called a taxi company to pick him up, police said. Largo police called local cab companies and were alerted by one of them that one of their drivers had picked up a man matching their suspect's description.

They found the taxi on Eighth Avenue in Seminole, with Davila-DeLeon still inside. Police said he admitted to the May 11 carjacking and Wednesday's armed robbery. Police did not find the gun used in the crimes, which was described as a dark or two-toned semi-automatic pistol.

Largo police had asked other agencies, including the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office and the Florida Highway Patrol, to help look for Davila-DeLeon. At one point, police thought he may have fled into Clearwater.

Deputies with the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office followed a vehicle they believed Davila-DeLeon was in as it headed into Clearwater, said Clearwater police spokeswoman Elizabeth Watts.

Some people jumped out of the vehicle in the 1700 block of Pineland Drive. Clearwater police helped search for the vehicle's occupants. Authorities soon found the driver and one passenger.

It's unclear why the men fled, but they were not involved in the carjacking or armed robbery, authorities said.

Authorities arrested the driver, 22-year-old Carey Toni Allen Jr., of 2760 Roosevelt Blvd., No. 2052, in Largo, and charged him with fleeing and eluding and driving without a valid license. According to an arrest report, Allen's license has been revoked since 2007.

The passenger in the car, Robert L. Bassett, 18, of 1125 Carlton St. in Clearwater, was arrested in connection with a burglary in the 1700 block of N Betty Lane. Details on that charge were not immediately available Thursday.

On Thursday morning, Davila-DeLeon was being held in the Pinellas County Jail in lieu of $126,000 bail. Allen was being held in lieu of $10,000, and Bassett was being held in lieu of $5,000.

Carjacking suspected arrested after another robbery 05/19/11 [Last modified: Thursday, May 19, 2011 9:12pm]
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