TAMPA — Eric Goody said he had no choice but to turn to crime after he was accused Wednesday of five robberies at four businesses this month.
"I was living on the streets," said Goody, 26, of Tampa. "My girl was pregnant. I had to provide somehow."
Police aren't buying it.
"The reality is there are a lot of people on hard times who don't go out and commit crimes," said police spokeswoman Andrea Davis. "It doesn't give you an excuse. I don't know how anyone could feel sympathy for that."
She said Goody was becoming more violent with each robbery, using more profanity-laced language and becoming more demanding with store workers.
She said that is typical with people who commit multiple robberies.
"They get more confident," she said. "With that confidence they get more and more violent."
Davis said Goody is likely to be locked up for a long time.
"He is probably not going to be able to provide for his family. Period," she said.
Goody was arrested late Tuesday and faces five robbery charges. He is being held at a Hillsborough County jail without bail.
The last of five robberies he is accused of committing took place around 10 p.m. Tuesday at Good Taste China, 8221 Florida Ave. He also is accused of two robberies at China Garden, 5715 N Nebraska Ave., one at a Walgreens, 2115 E Hillsborough Ave., and another at a Family Dollar store, 6825 N 22nd St.
Police said Goody also was involved in an Aug. 11 robbery that was thwarted when 69-year-old Vietnam veteran Clifford Leo Bisek chased him out of a Walgreens with his cane.
In the most recent robbery, police said employees at the store tripped an alarm, allowing officers to get to the scene shortly after the stickup.
By the time officers arrived, police said, Goody had fled on foot.
Officers brought in Mattie, a 2-year-old bloodhound, to track his scent. The dog picked up on the trail and officers set up a perimeter around the area.
An officer spotted a man who matched the description of the person who held up the Good Taste China. It was Goody, police said.
Police said he eventually confessed to the robberies after they talked to witnesses.
Information from Bay News 9 was used in this report.