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Detectives seek man in slew of robberies across Tampa Bay area

TAMPA — Hillsborough County detectives are seeking the public's help in identifying a man suspected in a series of armed robberies of fast food restaurants throughout the county, and others in Clearwater and Spring Hill.

In each of the robberies, a man wearing a black ski mask and long-sleeve black sweatshirt used a brick to shatter a window of the closed business, officials said. Once inside, the man would approach employees inside and demand money.

He would flee after collecting cash.

The robberies began in late September at the Papa John's Pizza at 7891 Gunn Highway in Tampa. That incident, which took place on Sept. 23, was followed by a Pizza Hut robbery just two days later at 4535 East Bay Drive in Clearwater, and another similar robbery two days after that at a Domino's Pizza in Spring Hill.

Authorities believe the same man hit the Pizza Hut at 902 Busch Blvd. at the beginning of October. A week later, a similar incident was reported at Wendy's, 13712 Bruce B. Downs Blvd., and Pizza Hut, at 17420 Highway 41 N in Lutz.

The most recent robbery happened on Nov. 1. The man held up a Burger King in Tampa, at 4103 Hillsborough Ave.

Police have used surveillance footage to put together a description of the suspect. He is between the ages of 22 and 35, about 150-180 pound, between 5-foot-5 and 5-foot-11, and he wore the same ski mask and sweatshirt in each robbery.

Anyone with information has been asked to contact the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office at (813) 247-8200 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-873-8477.

Marissa Lang can be reached at mlang@tampabay.com or (813) 226-3386 or on Twitter @Marissa_Jae.

Detectives seek man in slew of robberies across Tampa Bay area 11/08/12 [Last modified: Thursday, November 8, 2012 10:25am]
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