Seven suspects named in violent robbery spree; two remain at-large
ORLANDO, Fla. (WOFL FOX 35 ORLANDO) -
Seven men have been named as suspects in numerous robberies throughout the Orlando area, some of which date back to December of 2013.
"It is believed that 40 robberies, or more, can be connected to these individuals," said Orange County Sheriff Jerry Demings during a news conference on Wednesday.
The arrests are the result of a joint effort by Orange County Sheriffs Office, the Orlando Police Department and other law enforcement agencies. Authorities say the men are violent criminals and are dangers to the public.
One of the seven is the suspected shooter in the murder of an Orlando man last month. Brixten Dyer, 19, is accused in the death of Alex Mazzan in a shooting near Orlando Regional Medical Center. Investigators believe it was a random shooting. Dyer has been in custody since early June.
"Brixten Dyer has been identified as the shooter in that case, and we are working with the State Attorney's Office to charge him for that murder," said Sgt. Dan Brady with the Orlando Police Department's Homicide Unit.
Demarques Brown, 20, and Damien Altidor, 19, are believed to be part of the robberies at various convenience stores and pharmacies in Orlando.
"We interviewed Demarques Brown. He gave us a full confession to every robbery he was involved in, and he also implicated Damien Altidor as his co-defendant during those robberies," said Orange County Sheriff's Detective Scott Stephenson.
These three men, deemed the "Boonie Hat Robbers," are also linked to a group responsible for hotel and convenience store robberies in the tourism area. Three other suspects have been identified as Darin Givens, 31, Pheathine Quinn, 19, and Joseph Price, 29.
The last man linked to the group, Tavares Annon, 28, is believed to be the masked man seen in surveillance videos taken during the robberies of a Dollar General store and a CVS in May. Investigators say he worked alone when forced employees to the ground at gunpoint. His arrest was announced during Wednesday's news conference.
"Definitely a bad guy off the street, because he showed several violent acts in the video," said Orange County Sheriff's Detective Greg McQuitter.
Demings said Dyer, Brown, Givens, Quinn and Annon are all in custody, but Altidor and Price is a still at-large.
"Simple message we are sending today to other would-be robbers: We're coming after you next!" said Demings.
Anyone with information about the robberies or the whereabouts of Altidor and Price are asked to call Crimeline at 800-423-TIPS (8477).