Crime

Sarasota man charged with armed robbery of gas station

A Sarasota man was arrested and charged with armed robbery after he stole $273 in cash from a Shell gas station he used to work at, according to a Sarasota Sheriff’s Office press release.

According to the probable cause affidavit, Joshua D. Ruiz, 33, arrived at the 5100 Fruitville Road location around midnight Friday wearing a bandana and pointing a long-barreled handgun at former co-worker Elizabeth Rodriguez.

Rodriguez said the man opened the register without her assistance and took the money from a cash box only known to employees. According to the affidavit, Rodriguez recognized Ruiz’s voice. Gas station owner Sam Shehadeh also identified Ruiz from the video surveillance tape.

Ruiz was at the home of William Doolittle, who owns a long-barreled pellet gun last seen at his home around 1 p.m. Thursday, according to the affidavit. Doolittle went to show the detective the gun, but it was not where Doolittle left it. The gun the robber used was taken as possible evidence.

Ruiz is being held at the Sarasota County jail on $100,000 bond.

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