A Seffner robbery suspect is behind bars after crashing a vehicle while fleeing from a deputy early today, the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office said.
About 9:30 p.m. Wednesday, the clerk from the Seffner Food Store, 340 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., was sitting outside in his vehicle because a storm had knocked out the electricity inside the business, deputies said. While he was outside, a white man approached the clerk and robbed him of his personal property, including his wallet and the store keys, then fled. The suspect used the victim's credit card to make three separate purchases.
In the meantime, the owner of the Seffner Food Store changed the locks and used a chain to secure the doors.
About 3:40 a.m., someone drove a large silver or gray vehicle into the front of the store. The suspect, described as a white or Hispanic male, then took cigarettes before fleeing the area, deputies said.
A deputy in the area of Kingsway Road and Highway 92 spotted a vehicle matching the suspect vehicle's description. After a short pursuit, the vehicle went through a fence, struck a palm tree and an oak tree, then stopped after hitting the corner of a house at 1212 Varnes Alley in Seffner. The suspect bailed from the vehicle and fled on foot but was located a short distance away by a K-9 officer, deputies said.
Christopher Stringfield, 27, 2649 Valrico Road N., was taken to Tampa General Hospital where he was treated for injuries sustained in the crash and then released. He was then arrested and charged with armed robbery and fleeing and eluding. He is being held on $7,500 bail.