FELLSMERE — Johnathan Hammer and Jimmy Reyna were hanging out in front of the Fellsmere Food Mart on N. Broadway Street in early January when a man came rushing out, hopped in a vehicle and fled.
When they learned from the store clerk that the shop had been robbed, they jumped in their own vehicle and gave chase – calling police along the way to inform them where the robber was headed.
Nearly six months later, Hammer and Reyna were formally recognized for the role they played in catching the robber – since identified as Fort Pierce resident Felix Arrieta Roberts. At the time of his arrest, Roberts told police that he “chose the wrong town.”
“We just want to thank them for a great job,” Fellsmere Police Chief Scott Melanson said during the brief ceremony at last week’s Fellsmere City Council meeting. “We couldn’t have caught him without them.”
Councilwoman Sara Savage had asked the council to recognize Hammer and Reyna as a way to promote community policing.
“It helps the community when we all get involved and pay attention to what’s going on,” Savage said, noting that she has known Hammer and Reyna since they were “little ones.”
Roberts, 27, remains in the county jail in lieu of $31,500 bail. He faces numerous charges that include felony robbery purse/sudden snatching, robbery, and burglary, and misdemeanor petit theft, marijuana possession, resisting arrest without violence, and driving with a suspended license with knowledge, according to his arrest record.
Read prior coverage of the Fellsmere Food Mart robbery