Suspects in violent Martin County armed robberies arrested

1 suspect was wearing an ankle monitor
Posted at 1:38 PM, Feb 03, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-03 23:48:52-05

5 people, including one wearing an ankle monitor, have been arrested in Martin County for a series of violent robberies, according to the sheriff's office.

Since mid-January, least a half-dozen people had reported being robbed, beaten and threatened in the Golden Gate area.

The victims, who were chosen at random as they walked down the street in the evening hours, claimed one of the suspects threatened to kill family members if police were called.

Detectives say some of the victims may have been too afraid to report the crimes.

Mostly Latin-American males were targeted, the sheriff's office said.

Investigators identified Gerson Garcia-Hernandez, 18, as the leader of the group. Also in custody are Hector Garcia-Godoy, 26, 19-year old Carlos Garcia-Paguada, a 17-year-old and a 16-year-old. There is also a 6th suspect who has not yet been arrested.

Garcia-Paguada is from Honduras and the sheriff's office says he was wearing an Immigration and Naturalization Service ankle monitor at the time of his arrest.

Immigration officials were notified about Garcia-Hernandez and Godoy who could not produce proper documentation, the sheriff's office said.

All are from Stuart.

The adults are being held at the Martin County Jail and the juveniles were taken to a juvenile detention center in Fort Pierce.

Investigators say the weapons used in the robberies were BB guns. The suspects faces charges of grand theft and robbery.