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John Thomas, 19, and Eli Robertson, 25, are accused of five armed robberies facilitated through the Craigslist website.
Sarasota Thursday, Jan. 6, 2011 11 years ago

Agencies nab Craigslist suspects

by: Robin Roy City Editor

Sarasota police helped nab two suspects in a series of robberies in which the victims were lured through the website Craigslist.

Eli Robertson, 25, and John Thomas, 19, are accused of at least five armed robberies and one grand theft and could be charged with more as the investigation continues.

The two suspects would either list an iPhone for sale or pose as someone wanting to buy an iPhone in an ad on Craiglist, an online classifieds service.

The men told victims to meet them in various places on North Tamiami Trail such as a hotel parking lot. When the unsuspecting victims arrived, Robertson and Thomas pulled guns on them and took the phones, money and other belongings, according to police reports.

Investigators said Robertson and Thomas told the victims they had their identification so they knew where they’d live. They threatened to kill them if they reported the robberies to the police.

The two were arrested yesterday in Bradenton. Many items belonging to the victims were found with them as well as three guns and several computers, the report said.

The Manatee County Sheriff’s Office and U.S. Marshals Service assisted in the investigation and arrests.

Anyone with additional information should call the Sarasota Police Department at 954-7049 or leave an anonymous tip with Crime Stoppers at 366-TIPS (8477).

Contact Robin Roy at [email protected].

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