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Tuesday, December 07, 2021

Fewer than twenty minutes after an armed robbery in a Verizon Wireless store, Gainesville Police arrested four suspects Friday morning.

Police said Javaris Levon Whitsett, 19, and Stanley Floveus, 15, stepped out of a white sedan parked in front of the Verizon store, located at 2612 NW 13th St., at about 10 a.m. with guns out and masks on. The men pointed their guns at employees as they walked into the business and demanded phones, according to an arrest report.

Employees complied with the men’s request and put the phones in a box, according to the report. During the hold-up, an unsuspecting customer walked in on the scene and was held at gunpoint in the back room of the store.

Jessica Nicole Rankin, 24, walked into the store minutes later with a gun and demanded the employees open the store’s safe, according to the report. Employees told Rankin they couldn’t open the safe, and Whitsett, Floveus and Rankin left.

A Gainesville officer saw the white sedan that was involved in the robbery and two women, Rankin and Shanelle Nicolette Vincent, 27, in a parking lot of a nearby apartment complex, located at 2801 NW 23rd Blvd., according to the report. When the officer approached, Rankin and Vincent ran away in opposite directions. Police found Verizon boxes along the path Rankin fled, as well as in the car.

While police searched near the apartment for the suspects, responding officers found two guns matching the descriptions Verizon’s employees gave under a large bush, according to the report. Within 20 minutes from the time of the robbery, police arrested Vincent near the car and Whitsett, Floveus and Rankin near the Lowe’s located at 2564 W. 13th St.

The value of the phones taken from the store is unknown.

The car identified from the robbery was rented by Rankin in Miami, according to the report. All four suspects are from South Florida.

Three of the suspects were transported to the Alachua County Jail, where they remain, as of press time, in lieu of a bond. Whitsett and Vincent each have a $3.6 million bond, and Rankin has a $3 million bond. Floveus was taken to the Juvenile Detention Center.

@mkornfield

mkornfield@alligator.org

 

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