Tavar Suspect Held as a Fugitive in Seattle | Crime

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Tavar Suspect Held as a Fugitive in Seattle
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SEATTLE, Wash. -- Seattle police have arrested a man believed to be involved in the disappearance of a First Coast woman.

Officers have arrested Joseph Roberts, 26, on retail theft charges, after they said he tried to steal about $14 worth of meat from a store.

While talking to investigators, police said Roberts initially gave a fake name, before finally admitting his real name and telling them that he is from Florida. But detectives said that Roberts denied having any outstanding warrants.

After they found out Roberts was a fugitive, Seattle Police called the St. Johns County Sheriff's Office.

Deputies here said they think Roberts has something to do with the disappearance of South Ponte Vedra Beach resident Brittany Tavar.

Tavar's sister, Patricia Bellamah, told First Coast News this arrest brings the family some relief.

While the case started in St. Johns County, Roberts was located on the other side of the country, not far from where Tavar's sister lives.

Bellamah said that added to the odd nature of this case.

Bellamah said some of the first questions she had were,"Where was he found? What store?"

She learned he was arrested in a store where she used to shop in Seattle. It's also close to where her friends still live. 

She believes Roberts can provide investigators information about where her sister is located.

Tavar met Roberts at a Barnes and Noble bookstore in St. Augustine.  Tavar allowed Roberts, a drifter according to investigators, to live with her in her South Ponte Vedra home.

Weeks later, Tavar was last seen in July pumping gas at a gas station on Coastal Highway in Vilano Beach.

This is not Roberts' first brush with the law. Officers in Wyoming pulled him over for speeding in Tavar's Rav 4, but it was before Tavar was reported missing, so they let him go.

Investigators in Washington are now looking for that Rav 4.









MORE: See the warrant for Roberts

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