ST. PETERSBURG — Police arrested one of two men suspected of throwing hot coffee on clerks and robbing two convenience stores in late December.
Police say news coverage and a surveillance video they released led to the arrest of Charles Davis Custer, 43, of 2516 55th Ave. W in Bradenton, who was charged with one count of robbery in one of the incidents. They are still looking for the other suspect.
The first incident happened the morning of Dec. 28 when the two suspects entered the Quick Stop convenience store at 100 40th Avenue N in St. Petersburg. One suspect, later identified as Custer, retrieved a hot cup of coffee and then approached the clerk, throwing the coffee on him. He then pulled out a knife and grabbed the clerk, demanding he open the cash register.
The clerk complied and Custer removed the cash from the register drawer, police said. Custer was accompanied by a second unidentified man who assisted in the robbery and both left the store taking a four pack of beer with them as well.
Later that evening at about 11:30 p.m., the same two men struck the Sunoco/Circle K store at 11600 U.S. Highway 19 in Pinellas Park, robbing the store in a similar way, police said.
Police received a tip identifying Custer as one of the suspects and he was arrested at his home in Bradenton on Jan. 14 on one count of robbery from the case in Pinellas Park. He later was charged with one count of aggravated battery in that case as well and an additional count of armed robbery in the St. Petersburg incident. He is being held at the Pinellas County Jail.
Police are still looking for the second suspect, described as a black male in his 40s, between 6-feet and 6-foot-2, 165 to170 pounds, wearing a dark knit cap, olive-colored jacket and dark pants.
Anyone with information is asked to call the St. Petersburg Police Department at (727) 893-7780 or the Tip Line at (727) 892 5000 or Text-a-Tip at (727) 420 8911.
Tipsters can also call Sgt. Mark Berger of the Pinellas Park Police at (727) 541 0793.