PUNTA GORDA — Major Crimes detectives have arrested two people in connection with the armed robberies of the two convenience stores that occurred within an hour of each other on Friday April 12, 2013.

On Thursday detectives arrested Matthew W. Roberts, 17, of 15380 Orchid Drive in Punta Gorda on two counts of Armed Robbery. Mearl Dalton Parker, 18, of 1830 Donkey Avenue in North Port was arrested on April 18 on two counts of being an Accessory After the Fact to a First Degree Felony.

On Friday April 12, the Sheriff’s Office received a report of an armed robbery at the 7-11 at 330 Kings Highway just after 10:00 pm. Witnesses said a young male dressed in a dark hoodie and a mask approached the counter carrying a gun and demanded money. Less than an hour later, a second report of an armed robbery was received from the Circle K at 41 Tamiami Trail. The witness described a young male in similar apparel carrying a gun as the suspect. The suspect at the Circle K was seen getting into a dark colored older model vehicle.

During the investigation, detectives interviewed witnesses who were able to provide information that lead to the identification of Roberts as the alleged robber in both cases. Parker was identified as the person who drove Roberts a relative’s car to both convenience stores.

At the time of his arrest for the armed robbery, Roberts was also charged with Battery and Resisting Arrest without Violence on other unrelated cases. He was turned over to the Department of Juvenile Justice. Parker was also arrested for Violation of Probation and remains in the Charlotte County Jail.