While off duty on Saturday, June 8, Sarasota Police Chief Bernadette DiPino spotted three people suspected of a strong-arm robbery.
According to a press release from the Sarasota Police Department, Chief DiPino and her daughter, Tabitha Hays, a Baltimore County police officer who was on vacation, had just finished eating lunch when the call came out, and they headed toward the area of a robbery to look for the suspects and vehicle.
“Thanks to the watchful eye of Chief DiPino, three people suspected of a strong armed robbery are off the streets of Sarasota,” read the press release.
The call came in at approximately 2:01 p.m. Saturday to be on the lookout for two men and woman in a blue truck just involved in a strong-arm robbery in the area of the 3500 block of Clark Drive.
DiPino observed the suspect vehicle pulling southbound on US 41 from 15th Street. DiPino pulled behind the two men and one woman and called for backup, according to the press release. Sarasota Police Department officers, Officer Dan Griesdorn, Officer Steven Heaven and Officer Jeff McCroskey arrived on scene, near US 41 and 10th Street.
The three suspects are currently being questioned and police are investigating the strong-arm robbery. The three people are accused of battering and stealing a man's wallet, cell phone and other personal property.
Ronald L. Johnson, 43, of St. Petersburg, Joseph James, 32, of Sarasota, and Tina Schnering, 48, of Venice were arrested and charged with strong-arm robbery and battery.