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St. Petersburg police: woman robbed, but not very well

ST. PETERSBURG — Three men were arrested by police early Thursday morning on allegations of armed robbery.

No one, however, is alleging that they were very good at it.

St. Petersburg police arrested Demetrius Herman Wims, Matron Branquinten Page and Christopher Lamar Williams on charges of robbing a 22-year-old woman at gunpoint. But when they fled, police said, the victim saw which house they escaped to.

Police said they robbed her of a cell phone, a fresh pack of Newport cigarettes, her ID — and that's it. She had no cash.

The incident took place around 10:30 p.m. Wednesday, police said, after the victim bought cigarettes at the Walgreens at 900 49th St. N. The victim had walked past three men standing outside a house on her way to the store.

But when she saw them again, police said, they were wearing bandannas over their faces and holding a gun. But the victim said she still recognized them, and she watched them run into the same house she had seen them at before: 1015 49th St. N.

Then there's the weapon Page is accused of using. Police said it was a .38-caliber revolver — but loaded with 9mm shells meant for a semi-automatic pistol. It's an old British Webley revolver, police said, that could have exploded if anyone tried to fire it using modern ammunition.

"They can fit in there," police spokesman Mike Puetz said of the shells. "But you don't want to fire them."

What surprises police about this case is that all three have criminal records and recently did stints behind bars.

"They say when a guy goes to prison he's educated in how not to get caught," Puetz said. "I guess these guys didn't learn their lesson."

After watching the men walk back to the house (they were staying with Wims' aunt, police said) the victim went back to the drugstore and called 911.

Police showed up and said they found three men inside the house along with the gun. The victim's cigarettes were in Wims' back pocket, police said, but her cell phone was missing.

All three men were arrested on charges of robbery with a deadly weapon at 1 a.m. Thursday.

Page, 19, of 475 51st Ave. S, was arrested on an additional charge of being a felon in possession of a firearm. Police said he got out of prison in June after doing time for auto theft, burglary and being a felon in possession of a firearm. He was being held in the Pinellas County jail on Thursday in lieu of $70,000 bail.

Wims, 20, of 1015 49th St. N, was released from prison in May after serving time for burglary and auto theft, police said. He was being held in jail in lieu of $50,000 bail.

Williams, 20, of 894 13th Ave. S, did a year in the Pinellas jail in 2007 for burglary and possession of a firearm. His bail was also set at $50,000.

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St. Petersburg police: woman robbed, but not very well 08/12/10 [Last modified: Thursday, August 12, 2010 1:23pm]
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