Tampa Police Arrest Serial Robbers who Targeted Hispanic Businesses

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Detectives conducted an exhaustive and intensive investigation over a 13 day period to solve these cases. There was limited surveillance video available and only a few initial leads, making the search for the suspects challenging. Officers canvassed the businesses along Armenia Avenue to alert them about the robberies. Undercover officers surveilled numerous businesses for multiple nights in a row, in an attempt to catch the suspects in the act. While conducting surveillance along Hillsborough Avenue late Saturday night, officers saw a light blue car that matched the description of a vehicle that fled from the fourth robbery at Faedo’s Bakery. Officers followed this vehicle and within hours, one of the suspects picked up the two other suspects and headed towards the Armenia Avenue corridor. The three subjects parked the vehicle and went into a small billiard’s establishment, which is located next-door to El Chuzo, one of the previous robbery locations.

When the suspects left the business and began to drive off, the officers pulled them over. All three suspects were arrested without incident. A “scream” mask used in the robberies and some of the stolen property were recovered in the car. Detectives interviewed the suspects and they admitted to their involvement in this violent string of robberies.

Hector M. Rosario, 09/06/90, H/M, 2127 West Ferris Drive, Tampa
CHARGES: 7 counts of robbery and dealing in stolen property

Elijah B. Johnson, 04/22/92, B/M, 2512 West Tampa Bay Boulevard #101, Tampa
CHARGES: 2 counts of robbery

Jorland Vazquez -Cortijo, 12/30/90, H/M, 316 East Woodland Avenue, Tampa
CHARGES: 7 counts of robbery and dealing in stolen property

11/21/11, 7:50 p.m. (Video from this robbery is located at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YPzDokABFEU)
Sory's Wigs and Fashion, 8000 North Armenia Avenue
Three armed and masked suspects entered Sory’s Wigs and Fashions and demanded money from the business owners. The suspects pointed their guns at the victims and threatened to shoot them. The suspects fled the store after stealing cash and a laptop.

11/26/11, 9:40 p.m.,
Choladas Restaurant, 6729 North Armenia Avenue
Three armed and masked suspects entered the business and ordered all of the victims to the ground at gunpoint. They stole cash, purses and a laptop from behind the counter before fleeing the business.

11/30/11, 12:05 a.m.
Chuzo BBQ, 7101 North Armenia Avenue
Two armed suspects confronted the owner as he was outside cleaning up after closing for the night. The subjects kicked and punched this victim and as he fell to the ground they threatened to shoot him. They took money from the register and ran out of the business.

11/30/11, 4:50 a.m.
Faedo’s Bakery, 5041 North Florida Avenue
Two suspects wearing masks entered the doors of the business and approached the victim. They demanded money and pointed a gun at the victim’s head. They stole money and fled to an awaiting vehicle. In this case a witness saw the suspect vehicle, a light blue Toyota Corolla.

12/2/11, 8:20 p.m.
Pica Polla La Altagracia , 1420 West Waters Avenue
They entered the business, confronted the owner, pointed a firearm at his head and demanded everything he had. They took cash, two gold necklaces and a cellular phone prior to fleeing. On this day, the armed subjects robbed two different business establishments and attempted to rob a third.

12/2/11, 10:14 p.m.
Ho Ho’s Chinese Restaurant , 2502 West Columbus Drive
An employee closed the business and entered her vehicle, when the suspects approached her wearing a mask. One suspect tapped on the window of her vehicle with a black pistol. She feared for her life and fled. The suspects did not get anything from this victim.

12/2/11, 10:45 p.m.
El Zarape Restaurant, 4820 North Armenia Avenue
Two suspects kicked in the door and entered the rear of the business. The armed, masked men told the victims not to move as they pointed guns. They stole money, a laptop and a cell phone before fleeing the scene.