CLEARWATER, Fla. (WFLA) – When a Clearwater police officer noticed two people running from the beach, he knew something didn’t look right.
“Observed that they had likely been running because they were sweating profusely,” said Rob Shaw, Clearwater Police Department spokesman. “So he stopped, talked with them and detained them and figured out they were the ones who participated in the robbery.”
An armed robbery on Clearwater Beach. Not the area, but the beach itself. Investigators arrested 20-year-old Jacarra Dukes and 21-year-old Antoine Teagle.
Police linked the two individuals to two separate armed robberies. One happened on the day after Labor Day. The second, the day after that. They are still looking for a third woman who participated.
Shaw said Dukes was the one who held the victims at gunpoint, while the other two stole whatever they had on them.
“They would approach different groups of individuals and say what’s in your pockets,” said Shaw. “Wanting to see what kind of stuff they had and they would get away with wallets which had credit cars, phones, anything along those lines.”
Brad and Brenda Ritzman are vacationing from Texas and had never heard of any crime on Clearwater Beach.
“We’re shocked. You think you’re safe out on a beach,” said Brenda Ritzman, who adds she and her husband will be more aware on their next visit. “Kind of looking around to see who’s around you and who’s walking down the beach. Being a little more cautious.”
Shaw said the typical crimes investigated on the beach are the occasional shoplifter or someone who left their items unattended at the beach and they turn up missing. A crime this serious is a rarity.
‘This is something we do not see on Clearwater Beach,” said Shaw. “Crimes like this generally don’t happen.”