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Thursday, May 24, 2018
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Homeless man charged in St. Petersburg robberies

St. Petersburg police have arrested a man they say went on a robbery spree Monday evening.

Steven Ellis Leacock, 25, who police described as a transient, entered the Family Dollar store at 1628 18th Ave. S. around 4:30 p.m. and displayed a pocket knife before threatening to stab two clerks if they didn’t give him money from the register, police said.

The clerks handed over the money, and Leacock fled the store, police said.

Leacock turned up again around 7:05 p.m when he tried to use a knife to rob a convenience store at 1000 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. St. N., police said. This time, the clerk struggled with Leacock before Leacock made off with the clerk’s cell phone and some lottery tickets, police said.

About five minutes later, police said, Leacock approached a customer inside Walgreens at 875 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. St. N. and tried to take her purse at knifepoint, but ran off empty handed.

Officers recognized Leacock when they viewed the stores’ surveillance videos, police said. He was arrested today near Round Lake Park at 7th Avenue N. and 5th St. The knife used in the robberies was recovered, police said.

Leacock is charged with two counts of armed robbery and one count of attempted robbery.

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