Tipster Leads Boca Police to Robbery, Sexual Battery Suspect
By CRA News Service
BOCA RATON – A teenager was arrested and charged after using an advertisement on a website to lure and rob multiple people, Boca Raton Police said.
Gary Rojas, 18, also sexually battered one of the victims, according to the police report.
Police charged him with armed robbery, armed kidnapping and armed sexual battery. The Boynton Beach teen was being held in the Palm Beach County Jail without bond.
The victim told detectives that Rojas called her on June 20 about a posting she placed on the website Backpage.com, advertising a room for rent, according to the police report. She said Rojas expressed interest in the room, and they arranged to meet so she could show it to him. As she waited outside the home, Rojas pulled up in a silver Volkswagen Beetle, she told police.
“While looking at the room, the suspect pulled out a gun and repeatedly told the victim he wanted to kill her and demanded money,” police wrote in the report. “The victim said she would give him money but she would have to drive to the ATM to get it.”
Rojas drove the woman’s car to the TD Bank on West Palmetto Park Road and withdrew $700, police said.
While in the car, Rojas told the woman that he wanted to rent a room at a hotel and have her lure men there so he could rob them, she told police.
A similar incident happened at the Boca Inn the following morning when two victims arranged to meet the suspect also through the same website, police said. The suspect arrived and once inside the victim’s room, brandished a gun and demanded money. The victims did not have any money and the suspect eventually left in a silver Volkswagen Beetle, police said.
Police linked Rojas to both incidents after using surveillance video from the TD Bank to confirm his identity. They posted the images of Rojas on social media and someone recognized him and called police.
Police tracked down Rojas, who confessed to both robberies.
“It was also determined that the suspect has access to a silver Volkswagen Beetle registered to a family member in Boynton Beach,” according to the police report. “Rojas was arrested Wednesday evening without incident and the gun was recovered which turned out to be a BB gun.”