Hillsborough deputies catch armed robbery suspect

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The Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office says they arrested a suspect connected to almost half a dozen armed robberies in the Tampa Bay area.

Deputies identified the suspect overnight as 27-year-old Joshua Anthony Rivera.

They believe he has hit five businesses from Manatee to Hillsborough to Pasco County, the most recent happening Tuesday morning in Wimauma.

A couple weeks ago, they believe Rivera robbed the Express Mart on Sligh Avenue and North 56th Street in Tampa.

Surveillance video shows a man too cowardly to show his face, but not afraid to aim a shotgun at a child.

The clerk holds his hands up as his little girl watches from behind the counter.

"What it tells us about somebody like that is they've got complete disregard for life and they don't care if its a child or adult, whoever gets in their way, it's going to happen, that robbery out here," said Maj. Robert Bullara of the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office. "As you can see by the photographs, he's got no problem pointing that shotgun at anybody."

Deputies believe the same guy robbed a Circle K early Tuesday morning in Wimauma.

Jessica Moylan was working at the Morrow Fireworks tent, just feet away, when police surrounded the store.

"I step outside and there's a police officer there saying the gas station had just gotten robbed," Moylan recalled.

That surveillance camera captured a man entering the Circle K and making a purchase just like any customer. While at the counter, he scopes out his surroundings.

An hour later, deputies say the same guy came back. This time, he was masked and armed but wearing the same shoes as before.

Because he hadn't covered his face before the robbery, deputies were able to find him.

"It's a little scary, you know, being here all night and all day and knowing there is someone out there with a shotgun," Moylan said.

The suspect didn't hurt anyone in the five robberies. But, deputies didn't want to see what could happen during a sixth.

"A picture says a thousand words," Bullara said. "You can see how violent a person like this is willing to be for a couple hundred bucks worth of cash."

We spoke to the owner of the Express Mart store off camera. He said his little girl was shaken up, but she's doing okay.

As for Rivera, he's been charged for armed robbery for Tuesday's robbery. He was also charged for violating probation, and deputies say additional charges are pending.