CLEARWATER — Police have arrested a man they believe is responsible for a string of armed robberies over the past five months.
Thomas Delgado, 44, entered the 7-Eleven at 2030 Gulf to Bay Blvd. at 12:44 a.m. Sunday and demanded money from the clerk, police said. He was armed, and the clerk complied by placing an undisclosed amount of cash in a grocery bag.
As it happened, Clearwater police had been conducting surveillance on local businesses because of the string of robberies during weekend nights and early mornings. Robbery detectives conducting this surveillance saw a man fleeing in a 1996 Ford Explorer, police said. He was stopped at Drew Street and Mercury Avenue, where he was taken into custody.
A witness identified Delgado as the man who robbed the 7-Eleven, and the money was found on him, police said.
"We were able to use information compiled and analyzed by our crime analysis unit to predict a crime pattern," Clearwater Police Chief Anthony Holloway said in a statement. "With that information, detectives conducted surveillance details targeting a specific area at specific times, which ultimately led to the apprehension and arrest of the suspect."
It is believed Delgado is also responsible for several other similar robberies in the area since January.
He has been charged with one count of armed robbery as officials consider additional charges. He remained in the Pinellas County jail Monday. No bail had been set.
According to jail records, Delgado has a history of arrests that includes burglary charges, domestic battery charges and grand theft.
Marissa Lang can be reached at email@example.com or (727) 893-8804.