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Suspects in Tarpon Springs robbery and chase are Orlando men, police say

Travon Sullivan, 20, and Ralph Peeples, 19, face charges stemming from the robbery of a woman they had followed home from Tampa, police say.
Authorities have identified two Orlando men as the suspects they arrested Sunday in a robbery and chase that ended in Lakeland with a tactical crash instituted by a state trooper.
Authorities have identified two Orlando men as the suspects they arrested Sunday in a robbery and chase that ended in Lakeland with a tactical crash instituted by a state trooper. [ Florida Highway Patrol ]
Published Nov. 30, 2020

Two Orlando men are accused of leading law enforcement officers on a three-county chase Sunday and trying to throw away a stolen gun along the way.

Arrest affidavits identify the two as Travon Sullivan, 20, and Ralph Peeples, 19. The Tarpon Springs Police Department said Sunday that a woman who was with them had also been arrested, but the woman was released without charges, a Polk County Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman said Monday.

Sullivan faces charges of grand theft of a firearm and fleeing to elude police and Peeples faces charges of grand theft of a firearm and tampering with evidence, according to arrest affidavits from Polk County. A robbery warrant also was issued in Pinellas County for Peeples, according to an affidavit.

The series of events started just before 8 a.m. Sunday when three people followed a woman from her job at an office in Tampa to her home on Lancer Lane in Tarpon Springs’ Loch Haven neighborhood, police said. One of them confronted the woman in her driveway with a gun while another stole items from her car.

Soon after, a Tarpon Springs officer spotted the car — a dark gray Kia, according to affidavits — and tried to make a traffic stop. Instead, police said, a chase began. Sullivan was driving and Peeples was a passenger.

The Tarpon Springs officer crashed during the chase but was not hurt, police said. Pinellas County Sheriff’s deputies continued the pursuit across the Howard Frankland Bridge and onto Interstate 4. A Florida Highway Patrol trooper used a tactical maneuver to spin the Kia to a stop near the Kathleen Road exit in Lakeland.

The trooper received minor injuries, the Highway Patrol said. Sullivan was unresponsive after the crash and was taken to Lakeland Regional Health, according to the affidavits. He was later cleared and taken to jail, where both men were being held without bail Monday afternoon.

Dash-cam footage from the trooper’s vehicle showed Peeples throwing a bag and a gun, later found to be a Glock 40, from the passenger-side front door, leading to the evidence-tampering charge. Deputies in Polk County said the gun had been reported stolen a few days before in Orange County.

Court records in Polk County did not list attorneys for either man.

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