Man caught for at least 7 violent robberies in Lake, Geauga, and Cuyahoga counties has lengthy criminal history

Updated: Jan. 30, 2020 at 3:06 PM EST
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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - Several law enforcement agencies in Northeast Ohio went in depth Thursday on the suspect arrested for a string of armed robberies in Northeast Ohio.

David Johnson was arrested Wednesday through a collaborative effort from Euclid police, Willoughby Hills investigators, Lake County Sheriff’s Office, and Geauga County deputies that spanned approximately two weeks.

Police located the 32-year-old suspect and a copper-colored Kia Sportage that was stolen from Willoughby Hills in November 2019 that he used to escape from more than a half-dozen robberies.

Geauga County sheriff provides new details about man arrested for string of armed robberies

Posted by Cleveland 19 News on Thursday, January 30, 2020

The investigation started with the Geauga County Sheriff’s Office when Johnson allegedly robbed the Parkman BP gas station on Jan. 18, holding the employees at gunpoint while demanding money from the establishment.

Police in Chardon also launched an investigation after the city’s Dollar General was robbed by a suspect matching the same description.

The Lake County Sheriff’s Office reported an armed robbery at the Marathon gas station in Perry Township. In that incident, the clerk told detectives that the man walked in and put a gun to a woman’s head while demanding money from the register.

“The information sharing in this case was phenomenal,” Geauga County Sheriff Scott Hildenbrand said.

Law enforcement from Geauga and Lake counties came together realized the same suspect may be involved in the increasingly violent crimes.

“He started to get more and more aggressive, and that’s what we were afraid of,” Sheriff Hildenbrand added.

Some of the victims who witnessed the robberies were physically thrown around and dragged out to their cars by Johnson, according to county investigators.

Detectives believe that Johnson is also responsible a Jan. 21 armed robbery at a Willoughby Dollar General, a Jan. 25 incident at a Euclid gas station, and a violent crime in Cleveland.

The outfits Johnson allegedly wore during the robberies, including the distinct skull mask, were all found in the stolen vehicle recovered on Wednesday night during his arrest.

Evidence used during Northeast Ohio robberies
Evidence used during Northeast Ohio robberies(Source: WOIO)

Records from the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections show that Johnson was previously convicted on charges that include involuntary manslaughter, aggravated robbery, and drug trafficking.

The sheriff’s office said Johnson’s previous involuntary manslaughter stems from robbery where he ended up shooting somebody. He was arrested in 2005 and later sentenced to 10 years in prison. He was released on parole approximately a year before his most recent alleged crime spree.

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