PINELLAS PARK – Pinellas Park police report that two arrests were made Tuesday morning in carjacking cases that began in Clearwater and Largo.
About 4:20 a.m. Tuesday, June 3, a carjacking occurred at Morton Plant Hospital, which was being investigated by the Clearwater Police Department. Somewhere between the hospital and Pinellas Park, the vehicle was observed and followed into Pinellas Park.
The driver crashed into a fence on 94th Avenue west of 66th Street. Two suspects fled from the vehicle, and police began a search west and north of the area, which included Cross Bayou Elementary.
Because the search began prior to the beginning of classes, Cross Bayou Elementary was placed on “lockout,” which prevented the children from entering the school until officers could make sure it was safe. Pinellas Park police conferred with school police, and the children were allowed to enter and the school was then placed on lockdown.
A short time later, the search was discontinued, but police maintained a heavy presence in the area. Police were preparing to clear the scene when a resident called to report that her backyard shed had been disturbed.
“We deployed resources to the area and learned that a subject matching the description of one of the suspects that fled the vehicle,” reported Adam Geissenberger, Pinellas Park PD public information officer. “We deployed officers and K-9 units into the area and received support from the sheriff’s aviation unit.”
Pinellas Park police informed Cross Bayou Elementary and recommended that the school be placed on lockdown again. Police also noticed Woodside Hospice and recommended that it also be placed on lockdown.
While pursuing one subject, an officer observed a subject coming out Cross Bayou Canal. He was taken into custody without incident about 8:42 a.m. About an hour later, Pinellas Park police located a second suspect and also took him into custody.
Both suspects were taken to Pinellas Park Police Department where they were interviewed by Clearwater police. Largo police also interviewed the suspects in connection with a carjacking at McDonald’s at 7901 Ulmerton Road in Largo about 10:32 p.m. June 2.
Largo police report that Douglas Heale, 56, was in the drive-thru lane when he was approached by a black male with a semi-automatic handgun, who ordered him out of the car before taking the car and fleeing westbound.
Edwin Tyree Washington, 15, of Clearwater was charged with two counts of carjacking. One charge was by Clearwater police and the second by Largo police. Roy Powell Jr., 17, of St. Petersburg was charged by Clearwater police with one count of carjacking. Pinellas Park police charged him with two counts of burglary.