Around 3:45 a.m. on Monday, June 24, 2002, a Waffle House restaurant, located at 44215 U.S. Hwy 27 in Davenport, was robbed by three armed black male suspects. The suspects entered the restaurant and robbed the cash register and several patrons using the following firearms: a sawed-off, single barrel 12-guage shotgun; a Tech-9 semi-automatic rifle; and a pellet pistol that closely resembles a 38-caliber revolver. The suspects then fled in a white minivan, which deputies quickly discovered was stolen from a parking lot at the nearby Holiday Inn Express, 43824 U.S. Hwy 27, Davenport.
A B.O.L.O. (Be On the Look Out) was issued
for the suspect vehicle, and a Polk County Sheriff's deputy spotted the
vehicle shortly thereafter, driving westbound on I-4. The deputy
followed the minivan, determined that it was the stolen vehicle in
question, and communicated his findings to other deputies. The
deputy then turned on his lights and siren near S.R. 33 but the suspects
refused to stop. Deputies had placed Stop-sticks across I-4 near the
US Hwy 98 North overpass in anticipation of the approaching vehicle.
Preliminary investigation reveals that the suspects arrived in Polk County in a stolen vehicle from Plant City. They abandoned that vehicle and stole the white minivan from the parking lot of the Holiday Inn Express shortly before committing the robberies.
Some of the U.S. currency that was stolen and the three weapons used in the robberies have been recovered. The two juvenile suspects in custody at this time are: Benjamin Clark, 3/10/85, from Plant City; and Eddie Light, 9/11/88, of 1804 Beathune Drive, Plant City.
Clark and Light have each been charged with 5 counts Armed Robbery, 1 count Armed Burglary, 1 count Grand Theft Auto, and 1 count Aggravated Fleeing to Elude. The two other suspects remain at large, but have been identified and are being sought. The investigation is ongoing, and detectives anticipate further arrests.
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