Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Pinellas Park man accused in two-day string of armed robberies

LARGO — The lone customer in a quiet Largo thrift shop Monday asked to see the Coach purses locked beneath the cash register.

He was smiling, wearing a tie and dress pants. His dark hair was slicked back. And under a yellow button-up shirt sleeve, he hid a steak knife.

A 25-year-old female employee at Off the Rack on Ulmerton Road said the man grabbed her shoulder as she reached for the designer bags, spun her around and held the blade to her back.

He forced her into a fitting room, she said, then snatched $600 from a cash drawer before making his getaway in what appeared to be a gold Crown Victoria.

On Tuesday in Oldsmar, employees at Sun Country Cleaners on Tampa Road reported a similar crime: A man, armed with a knife, demanded money and left in a gold Mercury Grand Marquis.

By Tuesday night, authorities had arrested Michael Roger Bourdeau, 45, of Pinellas Park in connection with what they say was a two-day string of armed robberies. Investigators in at least four Pinellas law enforcement agencies were in the process of charging Bourdeau or determining whether to charge him for similar crimes.

Between Monday and Tuesday afternoon, stores in Largo, Clearwater, St. Petersburg and Oldsmar were robbed by what employees described as a man over 6 feet tall, 250 pounds, clean-shaven and wielding a long, sharp culinary knife.

One of the locations hit was the Blew Chocolate Hair Salon at 2140 Drew St. in Clearwater. According to Clearwater police, employees said a man entered the store Tuesday with a "large knife," demanded money and then fled in a beige or gold Mercury Grand Marquis.

Pinellas deputies soon found a suspicious car outside the Coastal Plaza shopping center in Dunedin. They saw a man fitting the description leave a store and stopped him as he pulled onto Main Street.

Before he was arrested, deputies said, Bourdeau rammed a sheriff's cruiser. No injuries were reported.

On Tuesday night Bourdeau, who was arrested in March for cocaine possession, was being booked into the Pinellas County Jail on multiple counts of armed robbery. It was not clear yet how many charges he would face.

At Off the Rack in Largo, store owner Kathy Stearns, 42, was counting her losses but also feeling grateful that her employee was okay.

Pinellas Park man accused in two-day string of armed robberies 04/16/13 [Last modified: Wednesday, April 17, 2013 8:44am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Trigaux: Amid a record turnout, regional technology group spotlights successes, desire to do more


    ST. PETERSBURG — They came. They saw. They celebrated Tampa Bay's tech momentum.

    A record turnout event by the Tampa Bay Technology Forum, held May 24 at the Mahaffey Theater in St. Petersburg, featured a panel of area tech executives talking about the challenges encountered during their respective mergers and acquisitions. Show, from left to right, are: Gerard Purcell, senior vice president of global IT integration at Tech Data Corp.; John Kuemmel, chief information officer at Triad Retail Media, and Chris Cate, chief operating officer at Valpak. [Robert Trigaux, Times]
  2. Take 2: Some fear Tampa Bay Next transportation plan is TBX redux


    TAMPA — For many, Wednesday's regional transportation meeting was a dose of deja vu.

    The Florida Department of Transportation on Monday announced that it was renaming its controversial Tampa Bay Express plan, also known as TBX. The plan will now be known as Tampa Bay Next, or TBN. But the plan remains the same: spend $60 billion to add 90 miles of toll roads to bay area interstates that are currently free of tolls. [Florida Department of Transportation]
  3. Hailed as 'pioneers,' students from St. Petersburg High's first IB class return 30 years later


    ST. PETERSBURG — The students came from all over Pinellas County, some enduring hot bus rides to a school far from home. At first, they barely knew what to call themselves. All they knew was that they were in for a challenge.

    Class of 1987 alumni Devin Brown, from left, and D.J. Wagner, world history teacher Samuel Davis and 1987 graduate Milford Chavous chat at their table.
  4. Flower boxes on Fort Harrison in Clearwater to go, traffic pattern to stay


    I travel Fort Harrison Avenue in Clearwater often and I've noticed that the travel lanes have been rerouted to allow for what looks like flower boxes that have been painted by children. There are also a few spaces that push the travel lane to the center that have no boxes. Is this a permanent travel lane now? It …

  5. Palm Harbor boat dealer facing litany of complaints of bad deals


    PALM HARBOR — With an aging father sick in the hospital and a son just graduating high school, Andrew Kashella, in between jobs, knew what he had to do.

    A sign on a front window of Gulf Coast Boat Sales, 37517 Us Highway 19 N, in Palm Harbor, notifies people they are under restructuring  The Pinellas County Sheriff's Office has received 20 complaints against Gulf Coast Boat Sales in Palm Harbor. Complainants say they sold the shop their boats and never got paid and/or paid for boats they never received. Pinellas County Consumer Protection is leading the investigation.