Suspect in Pasco store robberies arrested

HOLIDAY — A man suspected in a series of brazen robberies at businesses last week has been caught, according to the Pasco County Sheriff's Office.

Gregory J. Salliotte, a 44-year-old electrician from Holiday, was arrested at 3 a.m. Tuesday.

A cabdriver flagged down a deputy and said Salliotte was acting suspiciously around a Dunkin' Donuts at 2409 U.S. 19 in Holiday. Workers became nervous as the man rode his bicycle around the shop as if he were casing it, the sheriff's report says.

The driver said the man looked like one wanted for robbing a Walgreen's and CVS and attempting to rob a hair salon and diner last week in Holiday. Video surveillance photos of the robber were displayed by media outlets after the robberies.

Authorities were determined to catch the thief, who had threatened to shoot people with what appeared to be a gun. No one was injured in the robberies, but authorities worried he might follow through on the threat at the next holdup.

Two deputies cornered Salliotte early Tuesday morning on U.S. 19. Salliotte threw down what appeared to be a weapon and tried to flee on his bicycle, according to the report. Then he took off on foot and struggled with deputies, the report said.

Salliotte was taken to Community Hospital after complaining of pain in his right shoulder after scuffling with deputies. A doctor said he had a slight fracture to his right shoulder blade.

Witnesses from the robberies identified Salliotte from photo lineups. He denies having anything to do with the crimes, according to the report.

The weapon that was thrown down before his arrest turned out to be a .22-caliber Remington nail gun — with a silver barrel and an orange handle. Witnesses in the robberies said they saw a silver barrel of what seemed to be a gun, but never saw the entire weapon.

Salliotte was charged with the CVS robbery and the attempted robbery at Hair Remedies Salon, as well as loitering, prowling and resisting arrest. Additional charges could follow, said sheriff's spokesman Kevin Doll.

He is being held at the Land O'Lakes jail in lieu of $250,750 bail.

Erin Sullivan can be reached at esullivan@sptimes.com.

Suspect in Pasco store robberies arrested 05/06/09 [Last modified: Thursday, May 7, 2009 9:34am]

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