Masked Keystone Hts. man arrested for 3 Dollar General robberies

Published: Thursday, December 1, 2011 at 8:57 a.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, December 1, 2011 at 8:57 a.m.

The Clay County Sheriff's Office have arrested an unemployed Keystone Heights man on charges that he robbed three Dollar General stores over four days.

William Douglas Carlson III, 37, of 6051 Hillcrest Rd., was arrested by deputies on Wednesday on suspicion of holding up the Dollar General stores in Keystone Heights on Sunday, in Starke on Tuesday and in Orange Park on Wednesday.

Deputies said Carlson was arrested following a car chase in Clay County that ended when Carlson crashed the car he was driving and then fought with deputies.

According to reports from the Starke Police Department and from Clay County investigators, the hold-ups were strikingly similar. Armed with a knife and with his face at least partially concealed, Carlson would walk into the stores, demand and receive money, then order employees to walk to the back of the store while he fled in a Ford Taurus, according to arrest reports.

Two Clay County deputies said they spotted Carlson in a Taurus within minutes of the Orange Park hold up and began chasing him. According to the deputies, Carlson lost control of the Taurus, crashed into a ditch alongside a shopping plaza and then tried to run away. The deputies said that despite Carlson's attempts to fight them off, he was arrested.

Starke police charged Carlson with aggravated assault with a knife, armed robbery and committing a felony while wearing a mask. The charges filed against Carlson in Clay County include fleeing and eluding police at a high speed, and two counts of armed robbery.

Carlson was being held at the Clay County jail on Thursday.

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