A suspect in an armed robbery at a Villages fast-food restaurant Saturday morning is behind bars in the Sumter County Detention Center following a violent high-speed chase.
Travius Javon Webber, 18, was spotted by a Sumter County sheriff’s sergeant early Saturday afternoon driving the vehicle that was believed to be used in the early-morning robbery at the Burger King at 3630 Wedgewood Lane. An investigation by deputies earlier in the day had determined that the vehicle was a silver Chrysler Sebring with a black convertible top, a sheriff’s office report states.
The sheriff’s sergeant attempted to stop the Chrysler on Warm Springs Avenue in Coleman shortly before 2 p.m. but officials say Webber fled recklessly at a high rate of speed. A high-speed chase ensued due to the violent nature of the armed robbery at The Villages restaurant. And as the pursuit entered the intersection of State Road 44 at Morse Boulevard in The Villages, the Chrysler became disabled after Webber allegedly rammed a sheriff deputy’s patrol vehicle, the report says.
There were four occupants in the suspect vehicle, including two juveniles. Webber was taken into custody at the crash scene and charged with a multitude of crimes, including armed robbery, kidnapping (six counts), fleeing to elude, aggravated battery on a law enforcement officer with a motor vehicle, culpable negligence (three counts), child abuse (two counts), possession of methamphetamine, carrying a concealed firearm, felony criminal mischief (two counts) and no valid driver’s license.
The other adult and one juvenile required medical attention after the crash. They were treated at The Villages Regional Hospital and Leesburg Regional Medical Center. No deputies were injured in the incident and neither suspect suffered life-threatening injuries, the report says.
The relationship and involvement of the second adult and both juveniles, ages 17 and 14, still is under investigation by detectives, the report says.
The armed robbery took place at Burger King at 7:30 a.m. when the brazen bandits burst into the eatery and forced employees to empty the cash registers. Within less than 30 minutes, the Sumter County Sheriff’s Office had issued an alert of the robbery. It described the two suspects as “armed and dangerous.”
Both suspects were described as black males – one wearing tan pants, black shoes, a black sweater and a red shirt wrapped around his head, while the other one was reported to be wearing dark blue jeans, sneakers, a white hoodie, and plaid or checkered boxers hanging out of his pants.
Sumter sheriff’s detectives also are hoping to speak with a customer who was in the store at the time of the robbery. He left the Burger King before deputies arrived and was described as an older white male. Detectives are asking him to contact Detective John Knight.
Webber, who lives at 638 E County Road 462 in Wildwood, is no stranger to the Sumter County legal system. He was arrested in February and charged with driving while license suspended (first offense). And he was arrested in October 2018 and charged with battery, property damage/criminal mischief and an out-of-county warrant.
Anyone with additional information about the Burger King robbery is asked to contact the Sumter County Sheriff’s Office at (352) 793-2621 or Crimeline at 1-800-423-TIPS (8477).
Burger King, located a few doors down from Bonefish Grill and not too far from The Villages Charter School, may have seemed an unlikely target at the breakfast hour in The Villages.
But as The Villages grows, more armed robbers are making headlines:
• Two armed bandits in March threatened at gunpoint two staff members at Mallory Hill Country Club.
• A longtime restaurant worker in The Villages was arrested after a standoff in July in the Village of LaBelle North. Brian Davis allegedly robbed at gunpoint the manager at Belle Glade Country Club and then barricaded himself in the home of his girlfriend’s parents.
• Last year, a Sumter County jury convicted a career criminal who in 2015 carjacked a Stonecrester’s SUV and crashed it in front of Freedom Pointe. The convicted felon was armed and crashed into a Villager’s mini-van when he rolled the Stonecrester’s SUV.
• In December 2017, two men and a woman forced their way past a front desk clerk at Hampton Inn & Suites on County Road 466 in The Villages. They fled with an undisclosed amount of money.
• A man was arrested in September 2017 after robbing a local Wells Fargo bank.
• Four people were arrested in 2014 in an armed robbery at Evans Prairie Country Club. An investigation revealed former employees had conspired to steal the night deposit.
• A man brandished a small black semi-auto pistol during a robbery in 2013 at Gator’s Dockside at Spanish Springs.