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JSO: 4 arrested after 4 armed robberies at Dollar General stores

The group was arrested on May 1 after committing a fourth armed robbery, according to Jacksonville Sheriff TK Waters.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Four people face charges after a series of armed robberies at Dollar General stores in Jacksonville, Sheriff TK Waters announced during a press conference Tuesday.

Waters described the robberies at four different dollar stores across the city as “targeted” and followed a “very specific pattern.”

According to Waters, the suspects involved were wearing hoodies, masks, gloves and were carrying firearms, forcing employees who were leaving the stores after closing to return inside and open safes.

“During each robbery, a suspect acted as a getaway driver, parked outside the business in a white Dodge Charger,” Waters said.

The sheriff referred to video store surveillance that showed the crimes that occurred.

The first of the robberies occurred at a store in the 5000 block of Fore Caroline Road on April 9, resulting in more than $2,300 being stolen from the business.

Just five days later, a second armed robbery was committed at a store in the 1200 block of Yellow Bluff Road, with the same suspect vehicle parked outside the business. More than $2,800 was stolen, Waters said.

“In the second armed robbery at a dollar store in April, JSO detectives established that a pattern was forming involving these dollar store robbery suspects,” Waters said.

He added that investigators contacted local dollar stores and warned the businesses to inform their employees about the crimes.

Waters said that using undisclosed technology and “great police work,” investigators determined the suspect vehicle involved and possible suspects.

“Unfortunately, before JSO detectives could take them into custody, these suspects committed another armed robbery at a dollar store,” Waters said.

The third robbery occurred in the 1300 block of North Main Street on April 24, resulting in the theft of more than $3,000. The same white Dodge Charger was seen fleeing the scene, Waters said.

On May 1, a fourth store was robbed at gunpoint in the 3800 block of North Main Street. “Consistent with their established practice,” three suspects forced an employee leaving the business back inside at gunpoint to open the store’s safe, Waters said.

The group stole more than $3,400.

“But this time they didn’t get very far,” Waters said, adding that JSO SWAT officers quickly located and detained the suspect’s vehicle.

According to Waters, a SWAT member deployed a “distraction device” which detonated and was followed by a single gunshot fired by another officer that hit the vehicle. Nobody was hurt.

JSO Chief Alan Parker previously said during a May 1 news conference that a suspect pointed a gun at an officer.

“That single shooting is currently under administrative review,” Waters said. “I can’t really discuss the administrative review part, but we’re looking into all of that.”

However, Waters said: “The suspects could have lost their lives and it would have been right for police officers to use force in that case.”

He went on to say that there were innocent bystanders at the time the shot was fired and that officers wanted to make sure no one was hurt.

“You often hear across the country the narrative that ‘the police just want to kill people,’ but that’s not the case,” Waters said. “They could have easily used deadly force, but they arrested those suspects. They arrested them safely. No one was hurt, which is good.”

Ultimately, all four suspects were arrested and two pistols and a pistol were seized.

The following suspects face a felony charge of first-degree armed robbery, according to arrest reports:

  • Tresonda Benefield, 24.
  • Nathanial Carter, 23 years old.
  • Jakeithiyan Daniel, 24 years old.
  • Jackeri Lewis, 26 years old.

Waters said anyone who finds themselves in a situation where they are forced to do something at gunpoint should comply.

“The best thing we can do is comply, we don’t want the situation to get to the point where they lose their lives. There’s no amount of property worth it,” Waters said. “Let us do the background work to catch the individuals responsible.”

The latest armed robberies are not the first crimes committed at Jacksonville Dollar General stores.

On August 26, 2023, a racist gunman stormed a Dollar General store on Kings Road and killed three black people before killing himself.

The deadly shooting led the victims’ loved ones to file a lawsuit against the shooter’s estate and Dollar General, alleging negligence due to a lack of security at the store.