Photos and Videos Courtesy: St. Petersburg Police and SPPD Twitter
Updated June 9, 2015, 8:55 p.m. ET—
St. Petersburg Police detectives have arrested a man in last week’s realtor hold-ups and kidnapping. Police identified him as Paul Jay Pinkston, 58 years old of St. Petersburg. Pinkston is charged with 1 count of kidnapping with a deadly weapon and 1 count of armed robbery. Pinkston lived in an apartment at 10200 Gandy Boulevard. He was arrested at 6:15 p.m. Monday when he arrived home from work. Police say investigators got a tip that the suspect looked like the man in the store surveillance video released late last week. Pinkston is married, has a clean record and is a retired Air Force major, local news media report.
Posted June 5, 2015–
St. Petersburg, Florida police are investigating 2 cases of female realtors who were attacked on Wednesday afternoon, June 3rd. A female realtor was showing a home in the 1700 block of Oxford St. N. to a man. He pulled out a handgun and tied her up with zip ties. Police says the man called her husband for a ransom. The gunman left and the realtor was able to free herself and escape to a nearby home to report the attack to police.
A second female realtor was showing a home to a man with a similar description in the 1200 block of 58th Street N. when he robbed her at gunpoint.
News of the realtor attacks has gone nationwide and online, too.
“It’s all hands on deck. Every detective we have to spare is working on this case, ” said Yolanda Fernandez, St. Petersburg Police spokeswoman. Police recently released a composite sketch of the suspect and surveillance video of the man casing a home before the realtor attacks.
The suspect in both cases is described as a white man, mid 40’s, 5’5″ to 5’8″, medium build. Police say he was wearing a straw hat, a dark blue shirt and black pants. He was driving a gray SUV, possibly a Nissan Murano.
St. Petersburg Police say they contacted the realtors association to alert them.
Safety experts also advise realtors to meet their clients first in their office where more people will be around, get a copy of the prospective buyer’s valid current driver’s license, tell a co-worker where they are going and bring someone with you to meet a client at a home site. An average of 75 realtors per year were killed on the job from 2003-2009, according to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, ABC News reported.
Source: St. Petersburg Police, ABC News