Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

St. Petersburg police need help to nab robbers

ST. PETERSBURG — Police need help from the public and the media to capture the pair of gunmen who shot and robbed two brothers this week.

Police released surveillance videos of the shootings of Narendra and Indravadan Patel. Police hope publicity surrounding the separate attacks will result in leads and suspects.

But police have also kept other aspects of their operations — specific details of the crimes, what they're doing to find the shooters, how they're protecting convenience stores — to themselves to avoid tipping off the suspects.

Here is what police did say:

There are 10 detectives assigned to the case, from the homicide and robbery units investigating leads.

"We're talking to people in the surrounding areas who may have seen someone loitering in the area," said Maj. Michael Puetz. "In most cases the suspects have some degree of familiarity with the environment they're working."

Those detectives are sharing what they know with other agencies, Puetz said, to see if anyone else has "a piece of the puzzle."

St. Petersburg investigators have been talking to their Hillsborough counterparts about several violent robberies there, but no links have been made yet.

Forensic teams worked both crime scenes. Gloves were used in both robberies, but the gunmen could have still left traces of themselves at the crime scenes.

Masks were worn in both robberies, too — but that doesn't automatically render the gunmen completely unrecognizable.

"People will display characteristics that may make them identifiable to people who know them well," Puetz said.

Police described the pair of gunmen in each robbery as black men, both in their early 20s or younger, about 6 feet 2 and 190 pounds. In each case, one stood lookout while the other attacked the owner.

Narendra Patel was shot and robbed Monday at his store on Fifth Ave. N but has since been released from the hospital. Indravadan Patel, who was shot Wednesday in his store at Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. St. N, remains in critical condition. But his family said Friday that he appeared to be improving.

By publicizing the attacks and videos, police hope the level of violence will motivate the public to help.

Sometimes such violence can even spur someone close to the perpetrators to come forward, like someone who sees a young relative out of control.

Police hope the publicity will help solve the case, but they acknowledge it could lead them to go into hiding or even escalate their crimes. "They might think they're heading down the wrong path, that they might get caught," Puetz said. "But other people …they like the attention."

Jamal Thalji can be reached at or (727) 893-8472.

Fast Facts

Got a tip?

Anyone with information about the robberies is asked to call the St. Petersburg Police Department's homicide unit at (727) 893-7164 or call (727) 893-7780.

On the Web

To see surveillance camera video of the second shooting, go to

St. Petersburg police need help to nab robbers 12/05/08 [Last modified: Sunday, December 7, 2008 9:48am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Mother of double amputee Ireland Nugent to lose her own lower right leg

    Human Interest

    Ever since Ireland Nugent lost both her lower legs in a lawn-mowing accident five years ago, the Clearwater girl has inspired her mother, Nicole Del Corpo-Nugent, with the courage she has shown in overcoming the tragedy.

    Nicole Del Corpo-Nugent, left, looked on as her daughter Ireland threw out the first pitch when the Tampa Bay Rays played the Houston Astros at Tropicana Field on June 22, 2014. Jerry Nugent held his daughter for the pitch. Now Nicole Del Corpo-Nugent is facing surgery to amputate her own lower right leg due to a rare infection. WILL VRAGOVIC  |  Times (2014)
  2. Chris Archer knocked out early as Rays lose to Orioles (w/video)

    The Heater

    BALTIMORE — Another short outing by Chris Archer led to another long afternoon for the Rays in a 9-4 loss to the Orioles on Sunday.

    Chris Archer has not gotten past four innings in four of his past five starts. [WILL VRAGOVIC | Times]
  3. Bucs-Vikings report card: Where's this explosive offense we heard about all offseason?


    O NO

    True, the Bucs defense looked pretty leaky in the 34-17 loss to the Vikings. But you know what needs to happen when the defense is getting torched? The offense needs to step up. In games such as these, with defensive players seemingly getting hurt every play, the offense needs to outscore the other …

    Minnesota Vikings cornerback Trae Waynes (26) intercepts a Jameis Winston pass intended for wide receiver DeSean Jackson (11) during the first half. [LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times]
  4. Bucs-Vikings: Instant analysis from Tampa Bay's 34-17 loss


    MINNEAPOLIS — Here's Rick Stroud and Tom Jones' instant analysis from the Bucs' 34-17 loss at Minnesota Sunday. More to come from Rick & Tom — and Greg Auman —- from Minneapolis later today.

    Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Jarius Wright (17) dives over the pylon for a touchdown as  Bucs cornerback Ryan Smith (29) defends. [LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times]
  5. Worst-Case scenario: Case Keenum, Vikings hand Bucs 34-17 loss


    MINNEAPOLIS — With key defensive starters out with injury, the Bucs were dominated by the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday, with fill-in quarterback Case Keenum beating Tampa Bay for the third year in a row, …

    Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston (3) is sacked by Minnesota Vikings defensive end Everson Griffen (97) during the first half. [LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times]