Rash of downtown robberies have police concerned

Following up on recent strong-arm robbery cases in St Augustine, Historic City News has learned that police are scouring the downtown area for video footage at the time of the robberies.

On January 28, 2017 at approximately 8:45 p.m., a strong-arm robbery occurred at 27 Sevilla Street. In that crime, two young male subjects approached the victim and demanded money. The victim tried to flee but was punched and kicked several times sustaining lacerations to his head. The robbers fled in an unknown direction. No property was reported stolen. This robbery was not reported to police until 10:00 pm.

About 30-minutes later, at approximately 9:15 p.m., a second robbery was reported at 8 Carrera Street. The victim was grabbed and thrown to the ground. The robber in this crime is described as a light skin black male approximately 5-10 to 6 feet tall, young looking in appearance and possibly a student.

Later, on February 4, 2017 at approximately 6:30 p.m., another robbery occurred; this time at St George Street and Artillery Lane. The victim of that crime tried to run after two robbers, a white male and a young black male, came from behind a trash dumpster and quickly approached, demanding money. The white assailant struck the victim on the back of the head and the two fled southbound through the parking lot towards Bridge Street. This robbery was not reported to police until 8:45 p.m.

Just over an hour later, at approximately 10:00 p.m., a second robbery occurred at the Castillo de San Marcos National Monument. Three juveniles, two girls and one male teenager, were walking behind the fort when they were approached by a man asking them for a cigarette lighter. The man produced a handgun and ordered the victims to their knees. The male victim was struck in the head with the pistol. One of the females was able to run away. The man took the victim’s phones, purse and wallet and made his escape onto Water Street. He was observed getting into a small silver or gold colored SUV — possibly having a gold emblem like a Chevrolet or Toyota Highlander.

Investigators with the St. Augustine Police Department continue to run down leads that they have received from the victims and witnesses to these crimes. Police are hoping to obtain search warrants they believe will produce additional evidence and property taken during the commission of these armed robberies.

St Augustine police tell Historic City News that they obtained and executed an arrest warrant against 27-year-old William Matthew Lucas, who resides at 78 Chapin Street in St. Augustine, after he was identified in a prior armed robbery committed on January 14th. Lucas is accused of using a firearm against his victim, who police say was robbed behind the Villa Zorayda Museum located at 83 King Street. Lucas remains in custody in lieu of $100,000 bond on the first-degree felony charge.

If you have information concerning any of these crimes, you can call Crime Stoppers at 1-888-277-8477 and remain anonymous and still be eligible to collect a cash reward.

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