Polk deputies arrested four suspects in armed robbery of convenience store
(BTLS Staff) LAKELAND, Fla. – A man and three women were arrested Wednesday by Polk County Sheriff’s deputies on a variety of charges stemming from the armed robbery of a convenience store in Lakeland.
The incident occurred just before 11 pm Tuesday at the Marathon location in the 2000 block of Ariana St. A store employee was pistol whipped and three shots were fired at a witness in the parking lot. Fortunately nobody was injured.
According to a PCSO report the suspects committed a similar crime in Hillsborough County earlier in the evening Tuesday. That case is under investigation by the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office. Charges in that case are pending.
Cedric Griffin, a 27-year-old Plant City resident with an extensive criminal background, Dominique Robinson, 27, Curtisha Young, 19, and Ajaysia Smith, 18, were booked into the Polk County Jail on robbery and conspiracy charges.
“One of our alert deputies did an outstanding job noticing and then stopping the suspect vehicle,” explained Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd. “Our investigative team acted quickly to solve this violent armed robbery. The dangerous and reckless behavior of these four suspects could have resulted in the death of a witness.”
A probable cause affidavit states the three females picked up Griffin from his job at Burger King when he and Robinson began to argue about paying a bill. They decided they needed to get some cash fast when the decision was made to rob the store in Hillsborough County.
Griffin, who was armed, and Smith, who was not, went into the store and committed the crime the report states.
The suspects purchased beer at a RaceTrac before robbing the Lakeland store.
PCSO detectives took surveillance video from the Marathon as part of their investigation. A store employee identified the suspects he encountered in the store after they were arrests. During questioning all four admitted to taking part in the night of crime.
Judd: “Our message is clear – if you commit a violent crime in Polk County, we will do everything we can to find you, arrest you, and hold you accountable..”
Shortly after the Polk robbery a call came in to the 9-1-1 call center stating a maroon, four-door sedan fled the crime scene and was last seen traveling east on Memorial Blvd. An alert PCSO deputy spotted the car and conducted a traffic stop.
Inside the vehicle he found Griffin, Robinson, Smith and Young. A search also turned up a large amount of US currency, a handgun and clothing worn by the suspects seen on surveillance footage obtained from the Polk store.
Young has no previous adult criminal history.
Smith has two prior juvenile arrests and Robinson has no criminal history
Griffin is no stranger to law enforcement. He’s been arrested a handful of times in both Hillsborough and Polk counties on a plethora of charges including battery, carrying a concealed weapon, violation of probation and domestic battery by strangulation.
Additional charges may be filed as the investigation continues.