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Subway robbery leads to chase, confusion and 4 arrests in St. Petersburg

ST. PETERSBURG — Police were looking for a pair of robbers who hit a Subway restaurant early Wednesday morning.

What they got involved in next were a complicated pursuit, a brief standoff at a home and a group of teens in a stolen SUV.

And it was still unclear late Wednesday if any of the suspects arrested — identified as Darius Deshawn Johnson, 17; Dwight Tisdale, 17; Gabriel D. Dilworth Jr., 19; and Ellis Flournoy, 17 — were involved in the restaurant robbery that started it all.

The confusing incidents began with a 10 a.m. report of a robbery at the Subway at 4193 34th St. S.

Police were looking for two males wearing dark hooded jackets, one of whom was armed with a handgun. They were riding in a stolen "bluish green" Toyota 4Runner.

At 10:14 a.m., police at 22nd Avenue S and 35th Street started chasing a 4Runner matching that description. Officers lost sight of the vehicle, which was reported stolen May 7, at First Avenue S and 43rd Street.

Meanwhile, a Pinellas Sheriff's Office helicopter spotted a gray Isuzu Rodeo near 15th Avenue S and 37th Street, mistook it for the 4Runner and alerted police.

All three occupants fled the stolen SUV when a police cruiser approached. One of the occupants was caught a few blocks away. Another was spotted by the helicopter crew entering a house at 3811 15th Ave. S.

Police surrounded the house and eventually entered after contacting those inside.

Three people from the Rodeo and a 15-year-old were detained by police. The 15-year-old was later released.

Meanwhile, officers found the 4Runner just a few blocks away, behind 3841 16th Ave. S.

"Detectives believe it is possible that some of the individuals we have detained today were involved in the armed robbery at the Subway, but no one has been charged with the robbery," police spokesman Bill Proffitt said in a statement Wednesday.

Subway robbery leads to chase, confusion and 4 arrests in St. Petersburg 05/20/09 [Last modified: Wednesday, May 20, 2009 11:16pm]
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