Three people were arrested in connection with the robbery of a convenience store that happened on Aug. 16 in Venice, according to the Sarasota County Sheriff's Office.
Jessica Shaw, 21, and her boyfriend Shawn Datta, 28, of North Port, were each charged with principal to robbery and remain in custody at the Sarasota County Jail on bonds of $35,000 each. Michael Lucia, 26, of Port Charlotte, was charged with a single count of robbery and is being held without bond.
According to the sheriff’s office, deputies responded at approximately 3:15 a.m. to a robbery at the 7-Eleven located at 1698 S. Tamiami Trail after a suspect stole an undisclosed amount of cash and lottery tickets. Surveillance video captured the suspect — who was fully masked and wearing dark-clothing — jump over the counter before demanding the clerk to open the register.
Detectives began their investigation by interviewing Shaw, the store clerk who had only been working at the store for three weeks leading up to the robbery. According to a release, investigators soon learned that the robbery was an inside job after they identified Datta as the individual who drove the suspect to the convenience store.
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Detectives then identified Lucia as the suspect who entered the 7-Eleven with the mask and dark clothing while Shaw was working. Investigators also obtained surveillance video from a Shell gas station in North Port that captured Datta trying to exchange the stolen lottery tickets for cash three hours after the robbery took place, according to the sheriff’s office.
The investigation is ongoing.