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One arrested in Polk convenience store shootings, gun thefts in Lithia

Authorities have arrested a suspect in the robbery and shooting of two convenience store clerks Friday in Mulberry and connected it to the theft of nearly 30 firearms in Lithia that day.

Kimani Richye James, 18, is in jail on two counts of attempted first-degree murder and two counts of robbery with a firearm. He was also jailed on a grand theft auto charge out of Hillsborough County.

James was due for a first appearance in court Monday morning as deputies continue to search for more suspects.

Deputies say James was one of two hooded men who entered Prima's convenience store at 6980 State Road 60 W about 9 a.m. Friday and shot at two clerks hiding behind the door of a storage room.

The bullets grazed the women, leaving minor injuries, Polk deputies said.

The men dragged the clerks to the front of the store, demanded money and left, heading west in a maroon four-door car toward Hillsborough County.

About 1:15 that morning, Hillsborough deputies saw at least two men fuel up a Dodge truck at a Plant City gas station with a maroon car nearby. Deputies inferred from surveillance video that the vehicles were traveling together.

About 10 minutes later, surveillance video shows the Dodge and maroon car at a burglary of the Ace Hardware store at 10415 CR 39 S in Lithia. The suspects stole between 25 and 30 guns, Hillsborough deputies said.

The Mulberry robbery happened about seven hours later.

Deputies recovered the Dodge truck in Plant City and confirmed that it was used in the Ace Hardware burglary. Authorities suspect the truck was stolen.

But the maroon four-door vehicle, possibly a Toyota Camry, and other suspects in these incidents still have not turned up.

The Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office asks anyone with information to call (813) 247-8200, the Polk County Sheriff's Office at (863) 534-6200 or Heartland Crime Stoppers toll-free at 1-800-226-8477.

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One arrested in Polk convenience store shootings, gun thefts in Lithia 05/10/10 [Last modified: Monday, May 10, 2010 2:18pm]
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