Saturday, January 20, 2018
Public safety

Police charge Largo man in Ulmerton Road convenience store robberies

LARGO — An armed man who ran away from a convenience store robbery attempt Saturday — after the store owner pulled a gun of his own — was arrested Thursday after committing another robbery, police said.

David Lee Larry, 22, of 7298 Ulmerton Road, No. 804, was charged with two counts of robbery with a deadly weapon.

According to arrest reports, Steve's Qwik Stop owner Steve Ryle noticed a man matching Larry's description standing outside his store at 7500 Ulmerton Road around 11:45 a.m. Saturday. Ryle, who had been robbed in December, readied himself with a handgun because the man looked suspicious and Ryle feared he was about to be robbed again, he told the Tampa Bay Times earlier this week.

The man rushed into the store and pulled a gun. Ryle pointed his own gun at the man. When the would-be thief saw Ryle's weapon, he ran out of the store. "Not a word was said. As soon as he saw it (the gun), he ran. He ran like a gun-shy dog," Ryle said.

As police were still investigating that attempted robbery, another Ulmerton Road convenience store was hit on Thursday. This time, a man came into the store at 7149 Ulmerton just before 2 p.m., pointed a gun at the clerk and demanded money. He stole $500 to $600 from the register before running away.

With help from witnesses and information that detectives already had about the previous attempted robbery, police quickly zeroed in on Larry, who lives near both targets.

"The two most recent robberies Larry was charged with were committed in broad daylight," said Largo police Lt. Mike Loux. "These types of things are often done at nighttime, with the cover of darkness … so the fact these were bold, brazen and done in broad daylight certainly did not escape the attention of detectives."

The clerk from Thursday's robbery and two witnesses were able to identify Larry in a lineup, police said. At Larry's home, police found a 9mm handgun and the shirt he was wearing during the robbery, police said.

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