Friday, April 27, 2018
Public safety

Suspects in Morton Plant Hospital carjacking arrested

CLEARWATER — Two teenagers accused of stealing a woman's car outside Morton Plant Hospital at gunpoint and then crashing it on a dead-end road in Pinellas Park were arrested Tuesday morning.

According to police, Edwin Tyree Washington, 15, and Roy Powell, Jr., 17, approached the Chevrolet HHR of a 57-year-old woman as she parked her car before heading to work at the hospital about 4:30 a.m. One of them showed her a gun and told her to get out of the car, police said. She did, and both teens slipped into the Chevrolet and drove off.

A Clearwater officer later saw the car on U.S. 19 and followed it as it headed south into Pinellas Park, where the teens bolted after crashing into a fence on a dead-end road on 66th Street and 94th Avenue N, police said.

Pinellas Park police later received a call from a homeowner on 69th Street N who said her backyard shed — which is typically open — was locked. Nearby officers then found one of the teens emerging from the water of Cross Bayou Canal and arrested him, police said. About 10 a.m., the other teen was arrested near the 9700 block of 68th Street N.

Officers were still searching for the firearm Tuesday.

Washington of Clearwater and Powell of St. Petersburg both face charges of armed carjacking. Powell, who is also accused of breaking into the sheds of two homes, faces two counts of burglary.

The victim, Susan Biggs, recovered her car. Her son, Grant Biggs, said she also recovered her work bag and purse, but $100 and a Bible were missing.

Before her car was stolen, Susan Biggs, a licensed practical nurse, was reading the Bible.

"She's really shaken up," her son said.

Washington will also face an armed carjacking charge in connection to a vehicle theft reported in Largo. About 10:30 p.m. Monday, a 56-year-old man was in the drive-through of a McDonald's on Ulmerton Road when, police said, Washington ordered him at gunpoint to get out of a Toyota RAV4.

Times staff writer Claire Wiseman and Times staff researcher Caryn Baird contributed to this report. Contact Laura C. Morel at [email protected] or (727)445-4157.

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