Brandon Dillard's reopens after evacuation, suspects' arrest - WNCN: News, Weather

Brandon Dillard's reopens after evacuation, suspects' arrest

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The Brandon Dillard's was evacuated Monday during a search for burglary suspects. The Brandon Dillard's was evacuated Monday during a search for burglary suspects.
The Brandon Dillard's was evacuated Monday during a search for burglary suspects. The Brandon Dillard's was evacuated Monday during a search for burglary suspects.
Patrick Hooker, age 21 Patrick Hooker, age 21
BRANDON FL (WFLA) - Manatee County Sheriff's deputies arrested three burglary suspects who prompted the evacuation of the Dillard's at Westfield Brandon Mall on Monday.

Around noon, Manatee deputies responded to a call about a burglary in progress in the 3400 block of 68th St. Circle. E. in Palmetto. When the deputies arrived, two suspects were seen leaving the residence. The deputy tried to make contact with them, but the suspects drove away, according to a spokesperson for the Manatee County Sheriff's Office.

The deputies began pursuing the suspects' vehicle east on Interstate 275 and then north onto Interstate 75 with their vehicle reaching speeds up to 125 miles-per-hour.

At 12:26 p.m., the suspects' vehicle was attempting to get off of Interstate 75 at Highway 60 when they lost control on the exit ramp and slid off the roadway, according to the HCSO.

The three suspects got out of the car and ran away. They then entered the Dillard's department store at the Westfield Brandon Mall.

"When you are running from law enforcement, you don't want to be recognized," said Colonel Greg Brown with the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office.  "When you leave with a white shirt on, and put a red one on, it is just to throw us off ... but with the assistance of Dillard's security, there was video and we used that to help ID who the three were."

Two suspects were caught and authorities closed Dillard's while they searched for the last suspect.

The third suspect was eventually found hiding in the luggage area of the store, according to a HCSO spokesperson.

Manatee deputies say the vehicle they were driving turned out to be stolen from Hillsborough County. Two flat screen TV's, computer equipment, and two firearms were also allegedly taken in the burglary.

Deputies arrested 21-year-old Darrell Matthew, 18-year-old Jaquavius Francis, and 21-year-old Patrick Hooker and have charged them with Armed Burglary and Grand Theft Auto. Additional charges are pending.

Shopper Rachelle Riles witnessed one of the arrests.

"We were right there, but to see the guy getting arrested, I can't lie, I was smiling and I just felt relief over my body to know that it's done and they got them," Riles said.

The Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office and Florida Highway Patrol assisted in the pursuit and apprehension of the suspects.

No injuries were reported during the incident.

Copyright 2014 WFLA. All rights reserved.


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