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Wednesday, Aug 15, 2018
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Tampa couple, seen on video, charged in robbery spree

Tampa police have charged a couple in a string of armed robberies that occurred within a few miles of each other Tuesday night.

Acting on tips received 15 minutes after the release of surveillance video from one of the robberies — at a Bank of America ATM — police charged 33-year-old Heather Herrera and 29-year-old Justin Burgess, both of 7404 Spring Ct. in Tampa.

Police and U.S. marshals say the couple was wanted in six armed robberies, including three involving a stun gun.

Burgess and Herrera were taken into custody Thursday afternoon while standing in front of a home at 8711 Meadowview Circle and charged in the Tuesday robberies.

They were also charged in a Feb. 27 armed robbery in which Burgess shocked a man with a stun gun and stole his medication.

Police received several tips following the release of the surveillance video, in which Herrera’s face can be plainly seen after she removed a bandana from the front of her face. Numerous individuals, including Herrera’s probation officer, positively identified her as the female suspect seen on the footage. Her probation officer also helped detectives identify Burgess, Herrera’s boyfriend, as an accomplice.

The couple remain in custody in Hillsborough County jail o nsix armed robbery charges — four from the Tampa Department, and one each from the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office and the St. Petersburg Police Department.

The Tuesday night robberies occurred at two Bank of America ATM machines and at the Grand Hyatt Tampa Bay on Rocky Point.

No one was injured, police say.

The first robbery occurred at 10:34 p.m., when a woman said drove up to the Bank of America ATM, at 100 N. West Shore Blvd. After withdrawing money, police say Burgess approached her with the gun, snatched the cash and told her to drive away, police said. The robber got into the getaway car, with Herrera driving before fleeing, police said.

At 10:51 p.m., a man drove up to the Bank of America ATM, at 3030 W. Kennedy Blvd., and entered his debit card and PIN number, police said. He said a black, two-door vehicle stopped him in the ATM lane and a man exited from the driver’s side, pointed at gun and advised him to drive away. The robber removed money from ATM and fled.

Burgess and Herrera were seen on surveillance video at the ATM at that location, police say.

At 3:40 a.m., Wednesday, at the Grand Hyatt garage, two people were watching videos on their cellphones in their car when an armed man demanded cash, police said. Money and jewelry were taken as Herrera stood by the driver’s door with a weapon, police say.

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