Make us your home page
Instagram

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

Loading...
  1. My AP Top 25 ballot: FSU out, USF, Florida Gators back in

    Blogs

    Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher still thinks he can have a good team, as I wrote in today's Tampa Bay Times. Maybe he's right.

  2. Forecast: Scattered thunderstorms in Tampa Bay; Maria could affect Carolinas

    Weather

    Scattered thunderstorms will threaten the Tampa Bay area Sunday, but most of the area will see sunshine.

    Scattered thunderstorms threaten Tampa Bay on Sunday. [Courtesy 10News WTSP]
  3. NFL owners speak out in support of players, against Trump

    Politics

    The NFL's players and owners are frequently at odds over the issues, finances and rules of the game, a long-running feud that looms large toward another potential work stoppage after the 2020 season.

    President Donald Trump walks off the stage after he speaks at campaign rally in support of Sen. Luther Strange, Friday, Sept. 22, 2017, in Huntsville, Ala. [Associated Press]
  4. Rays Journal: Duda home run sets Rays record

    Blogs

    BALTIMORE -- With one swing of the bat, Rays DH/1B Lucas Duda broke a team record and tied a personal mark in Saturday's game against the Orioles that was not complete at press time.

    Lucas Duda, right, watches his three-run home run against the Orioles.
  5. Brooksville motorcyclist crashes into pole, dies

    Blogs

    BROOKSVILLE — A motorcyclist crashed into a utility pole and died Saturday evening, the Florida Highway Patrol reported.