Man accused of forcing woman to drive to ATM, withdraw cash

Police: Jeffery Turcotte, 19, arrested after series of robberies in Fort Lauderdale

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - A 19-year-old man accused of forcing a woman to drive to an ATM at gunpoint and attempting to steal personal belongings from another has been arrested.

The Fort Lauderdale Police Department said the armed robberies began at 11:47 p.m. Wednesday. The first robbery happened in the 2100 block of Southeast 10th Avenue.

Police said Jeffery Turcotte approached a woman while she was exiting her vehicle and pointed a handgun at the back of her head.

Turcotte demanded the woman to return to her vehicle and drive him to a nearby Bank of America. Police said Turcotte then demanded the woman to withdraw funds from the ATM.

Turcotte then ordered the woman to drive to another Bank of America at 3030 West Davie Boulevard. When the ATM at this location would not allow the woman to withdraw funds, police said Turcotte told the woman that he was going to "rob her house" and ordered her to drive to her home.

While the woman complied with Turcotte's orders, police said Turcotte saw a red sports car in the parking lot of the Outback Steakhouse at 1801 Southeast 10th Avenue. Turcotte then ordered the woman to follow this vehicle.

The woman, in fear for her safety, complied with Turcotte's demands and followed the car to a parking lot at 3049 Alahambra Street, police said.

When the woman parked her vehicle near this parking lot, police said Turcotte ordered the woman out of the vehicle and concealed his handgun in his waistband. Turcotte then grabbed the woman's hand, demanding that she help him rob those inside the red sports car, police said.

Fort Lauderdale police said Turcotte became upset with the woman's unwillingness to cooperate and let go of her hand, and the woman ran away.

Turcotte approached the couple who exited the red sport car and demanded the male occupant's wallet. Police said Turcotte pointed the handgun in the direction of male and his female passenger, demanding their personal belongings.

Police said Turcotte became frustrated when the occupants did not immediately comply with his demands.

Turcotte then ran back to the original woman's unoccupied vehicle and fled from the area, according to police.

A Fort Lauderdale police officer saw Turcotte operating the woman's vehicle in the area of the 300 block of East Las Olas Boulevard. When officers attempted to conduct a traffic stop of the vehicle, Turcotte refused to stop and fled westbound on Las Olas Boulevard.

Police said Turcotte lost control of the vehicle and struck a fence in the 400 block of Southwest 26th Street.

Turcotte was arrested on three counts of armed robbery with a firearm, one count of armed kidnapping, one count of grand theft auto, one count of fleeing and eluding a law enforcement officer, and one count of operating a motor vehicle without a valid driver's license.

Police said this is an active and ongoing investigation. Anyone with information is asked to call Detective Justin Moody at 954-828-4018.

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