Teen arrested accused of violent crime spree

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Tampa police arrested a man Monday night, who they say, robbed three different victims at gunpoint in one week.

Investigators announced the 16-year-old -- who we are not naming because he's a minor -- was taken into custody accused of the crime spree. His arrests come after an exhaustive investigation into several leads.

"With each robbery, it's gotten more violent. We're concerned if there's a fourth robbery, someone's going to get severely injured or maybe even worse," Tampa Police's Andrea Davis said Monday.

The first robbery happened last Monday at the Travelodge on E. Busch Boulevard. Investigators say the suspect struck up a conversation with the victims at the motel pool, and then followed the victims to their room and robbed them at gunpoint.

Just days later, a couple visiting from Italy were robbed at gunpoint at the same motel after the suspect engaged them in conversation.

Sunday night, a man filling up his gas tank at the 7-11 on Bruce B. Downs Boulevard was targeted. Gabriel Paulino says a stranger approached him at the busy gas station.

"He came up to me and offered to sell me marijuana. I told him no. I get in my car. He opens my passenger side door and sits right beside me," Paulino explained.

He said the man pointed a gun at him and demanded he drive. He took all his valuables, and then ordered him to drive to his home to get his credit cards to take out more cash. Paulino told his mother, who was home at the time, that the man was just a co-worker. She insisted on going with them to the ATM. She brought along Paulino's young niece and nephew.

"I begged her not to come, I said, 'Mom, I can go by myself. Please don't come," Paulino added.

Once the family was in the car, they realized the man wasn't really a friend.

"He yelled at her, he hit her on the arm and then aimed the gun at her. That wasn't enough for him. He grabbed my niece. She's like 8-years-old, a little girl, and puts the gun up to her head. He keeps it there until I drop him off," Paulino recalled.