The Tampa Police Department located and arrested two teenagers on Wednesday linked to a spree of crimes in the city.
At 11 AM on Wednesday, January 25, 2023, a woman eating lunch inside the Portillos Restaurant at 2102 E Fowler Ave reported that another woman grabbed her purse from her chair and ran out of the restaurant. The victim chased after the suspect, who darted across Fowler Avenue and got away. An onlooker observed a man riding a bicycle while simultaneously towing another bicycle in the same direction the female suspect fled. Tampa Police officers saturated the area but did not immediately locate either individual.
About an hour later, an 82-year-old victim was eating inside a nearby McDonald's at 3411 E Busch Blvd when a female and male suspect matching the same description snatched her purse and car keys from her table. Both suspects entered the victim's 2022 Toyota Corolla in the parking lot and fled.
Shortly after, police were dispatched to a hit and run with injuries at the intersection of 20th St and Waters Ave, where a pedestrian was struck by the stolen Toyota. The pedestrian, who sustained critical injuries, was taken to the hospital for medical attention. The stolen Toyota was later discovered wrecked at the intersection of Ruth Place and E Yukon St.
Knowing the suspects were likely on foot, Tampa Police set up a large perimeter in the area, engaging Air Service and K-9 Units, in addition to patrol officers. Within a short time, Air Service and patrol officers saw the suspects fleeing back into the McDonald's on Busch Blvd. The suspects were taken into custody.
The male suspect, Xavier Walkine, 16, discarded a 9mm firearm under a table in the McDonald's just prior to arrest. Walkine, along with the female suspect, Ashanti Miley, 15, was in possession of marijuana. Miley also had stolen property from the victims at the Portillos and McDonald's incidents in her possession at the time of the arrest. With the help of the public, officers were able to obtain home surveillance video of the suspects fleeing on foot behind a residence after the vehicle crashed.
Walkine is facing charges of Armed Burglary of a Conveyance, Grand Theft Auto, Possession of Cannabis, Minor in Possession of a Firearm, and Carrying a Concealed Firearm.
Miley is facing charges of Petit Theft, Burglary of a Conveyance, Grand Theft Auto, and Possession of Cannabis. Miley also has four outstanding warrants for Failure to Appear in Court on charges of Battery on a Law Enforcement Officer, Possession of a Stolen Credit Card, and Petit Theft.
"These individuals had no regard for the safety of others during their crime spree, and it's unfortunate to see teenagers making such poor, life-changing decisions," said Interim Chief Lee Bercaw. "It took coordinated efforts from multiple areas of our department to quickly find and arrest these individuals. We are thankful that because of these diligent officers, these suspects are no longer able to wreak havoc on our community."