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Wednesday, May 23, 2018
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Police identify suspects in Tampa carjacking

Two suspects wanted in a armed carjacking Wednesday in Tampa and arrested after a six-hour manhunt in Plant City were identified Thursday as Justin D. Blackmon, 34, and Timothy A. Connell, 29.

Both were flushed from a swamp by police dogs in the area of Finally Road, south of Shoupe Road.

One suspect was caught about 6 p.m., the other about 7 p.m.

They were charged by Tampa police with carjacking a brown Honda Accord shortly after 5 a.m. Wednesday at a gas station at Armenia and Hillsborough avenues. The victim was pumping gas at the time.

About 11 a.m. Wednesday, a Plant City detective was working on an unrelated case when he said he saw two suspicious men in the Accord. The detective pulled his vehicle behind the car, which then accelerated and drove into a small grass ditch.

The men fled on foot and headed north into a sparsely populated, heavily wooded area north of Bruton Road and west of State Road 39.

Hillsborough County sheriff’s deputies set up a perimeter and sent tracking dogs to ferret the men out. After about six hours, Blackmon and Connell were arrested.

Both faces charges of armed carjacking and resisting arrest without violence. Connell also faces a probation violation stemming from a prior burglary charge. Bail had not been set for either defendant.

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