Most recently two armed robberies occurred in the early morning of Monday – only about an hour and a half apart – where each victim said they were robbed at gunpoint by four black males.
The first robbery occurred around 1 a.m. in the 9th block of W. 11th Street. The victim told police he was riding his bicycle when four black males approached him and blocked him. He told police the men pulled out semi-automatic handguns and demanded his wallet.
When police returned to the scene they were able to locate the victim’s eyeglasses along with a few of his receipts, but could not recover the wallet. The victim told police the men ran off towards Coastline Park.
The second armed robbery occurred around 2:30 a.m. the same day near the entrance to the Celery Lake subdivision on Celery Avenue. The two victims told police a car dropped off two men who approached the victims as they were walking along the side of the road. Another two men also approached, the victims told police, and all four men pulled handguns demanding they “Give it up.”
The victims were forced to turn over a wallet and cell phone.
Captain James McAuliffe of the Sanford Police Department said he had “no doubt” the crimes were committed by the same group of men.
“The case has been handed over to investigators,” he said. “Hopefully we’ll be able to form some intel.”
These armed robberies came on the heels of two other shocking crimes within Sanford in the past week – an armed home invasion and attempted armed carjacking.
Police have not released the location of the home invasion as they are still investigating to locate the other suspects involved.
According to a police report, around midnight on Sunday several people – including children – were approached at their home by armed men who demanded their car keys and phones. One of the victim’s purses was in the car taken by the men and police were able to track the use of one her credit cards to make an arrest.
Police found the suspect at Race Trac on W. S.R. 46 with the stolen vehicle after he had made several attempts to use the stolen credit card.
Frederick LJ Brown, of Deltona, was charged with robbery with a firearm, grand theft of a motor vehicle, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and illegal use of credit cards.
McAuliffe said this robbery did not appear to be related to the most recent ones and investigators are still working to identify the other suspects involved.
All of these followed an attempted carjacking that occurred Thursday afternoon in the Venetian Bay neighborhood. Police said a mother was putting her child into her vehicle when three boys approached. The woman told police she hurried into the vehicle as the boys surrounded it and one pulled a gun while ordering her to open up.
The woman was able to put the car in reverse and police later caught two juveniles they believe were involved in the crime. A third suspect has yet to be identified.
McAuliffe said the crimes are reminder that residents must report any suspicious activity they witness – no matter how trivial.
“It’s important to remain ever vigilant about people who are acting in a suspicious manner and report it,” he said.
Anyone who witnesses suspicious activity is asked to call Sanford’s non-emergency line at 407-688-5199 or Seminole County’s line at 407-665-6650. If there is any presence of a threat or danger, said McAuliffe, always call 9-1-1.
Police are also seeking any information related to these crimes and ask anyone with details to call the police station at 407-688-5070 or CrimeLine at 1-800-423-TIPS.