Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Deputies arrest two, seek two others connected to Land O'Lakes robbery

LAND O'LAKES — Pasco deputies have two young men in custody and are looking for two more in connection to the armed robbery of a convenience store and a carjacking late Thursday.

The four are suspected of robbing several convenience stores — mostly 7-Elevens — throughout the Tampa Bay area in recent weeks, according to Doug Tobin, spokesman for the Pasco County Sheriff's Office.

Antoine Markiest Harris and Arquives Deon McNeal, both 19 and from Tampa, were booked Friday at the Land O'Lakes jail on charges of armed robbery and armed carjacking.

Deputies continue to search for two accomplices.

About 11 p.m. Thursday, deputies said, two men carrying handguns entered the Mobil convenience store and Dunkin' Donuts at 16055 State Road 52, just east of the Suncoast Parkway, with their faces covered.

The men pointed a gun at the 37-year-old clerk's head and dragged him around the store, said Sheriff Bob White. They also robbed a customer. No one was injured.

At the same time, deputies said, two unmasked men stole a Honda Element in the parking lot at gunpoint. One of the assailants pointed a gun directly at the 57-year-old driver's head, Tobin said. The man was not injured.

Deputy Michael Navarra was parked in a vacant lot next to the convenience store, doing paperwork, when he noticed something unusual was happening and drove over, White said.

Navarra saw the two men from the convenience store take off in a silver vehicle and chased after them, heading east on SR 52 toward U.S. 41.

As they drove, the Honda Element drove up from behind and then passed the patrol car and wedged in behind the silver car.

Going about 80 mph, the chase approached the intersection at U.S. 41. The silver car turned right and headed south on U.S. 41. The Element didn't make the turn and crashed into a ditch in front of the Hess gas station at the southeast corner of U.S. 41 and SR 52.

The men in the Element ran away from the crash with the deputy on their heels, Tobin said. The two ran into the woods and went through a retention pond.

Two police dog units arrived, and one deputy and his dog found Harris and McNeal. Tobin said one of the suspects suffered a minor dog bite.

White said both men had "extensive" criminal histories.

"We are pursuing the other two suspects with great vigor," he said.

Deputies believe the robbery might be related to several other recent armed robberies in Tampa Bay. White said the number of people involved and the robbery method — two men inside, two men outside — gives them reason to think these men could be connected to a May 26 robbery of a 7-Eleven in New Port Richey, among others.

Harris was charged Friday with armed robbery for that May 26 holdup.

Though he and McNeal are still teens, born just six days apart, both are felons who have served time in prison. Harris served two stints — nine months for grand theft auto and fleeing to elude law enforcement and 11 months for fleeing authorities a second time.

He was released from prison May 8.

McNeal spent one year and four months incarcerated for shooting or throwing a missile into a building or vehicle. He was released in January 2009 and is on felony probation.

Tobin said citizens should not approach the two fugitives.

"They are armed and extremely dangerous," Tobin said.

Tobin said the robbers' "patterns are getting more and more violent."

"They're more bold, more brazen and we need to get them off the streets," Tobin said.

He said anyone with information should call the Pasco County Sheriff's Office at (727) 844-7711.

Deputies arrest two, seek two others connected to Land O'Lakes robbery 06/04/10 [Last modified: Friday, June 4, 2010 8:27pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Live from St. Pete: Kriseman, Baker square off in TV debate


    ST. PETERSBURG — The mayoral race goes into the home stretch starting Tuesday.

  2. Five ideas for cooking with ground turkey


    I rarely cook with ground beef. Ground turkey became the go-to ground protein in my kitchen years ago. As meats go, it's pretty ideal: not a ton of raw meat juices, easy enough to cook in a pinch, more flavor than ground chicken. I sub turkey in for just about any recipe that calls for ground beef, except on …

    Siraracha Turkey Skewers are accompanied by jasmine rice and carrot-cucumber slaw.
  3. SOCom moves to bring growing Warrior Games for injured troops to Tampa


    TAMPA — The military established special games for ill and injured troops and veterans in 2010, and the annual event drew crowds of up to 5,000 to the bases that hosted them — until this summer.

    Medically retired Marine Corps Sgt. Mike Nicholson of Tampa participates in the 2017 Warrior Games in Chicago on July 2.
  4. The Daystarter: Tampa courts Warrior Games; McCain returns for health care vote; Kriseman, Baker debate tonight; Jones on McCoy's puzzling pattern of tantrums


    Catching you up on overnight happenings, and what you need to know today.

    President Donald Trump on Monday urged senators to vote in favor of an overhaul of the Affordable Care Act. [ Washington Post]
  5. Trump sprinkles political attacks into Scout Jamboree speech

    GLEN JEAN, W.Va. — Ahead of President Donald Trump's appearance Monday at the National Scout Jamboree in West Virginia, the troops were offered some advice on the gathering's official blog: Fully hydrate. Be "courteous" and "kind." And avoid the kind of divisive chants heard during the 2016 campaign such as "build …

    President Donald Trump addresses the Boy Scouts of America's 2017 National Scout Jamboree at the Summit Bechtel National Scout Reserve in Glen Jean, W.Va., July 24, 2017. [New York Times]