'Batman' arrested in string of armed robberies

Sheriff says man's motive was heroin addiction

ORLANDO, Fla. – Orange County sheriff's officials on Monday said an arrest has been made in a string of armed robberies in which the culprit sometimes wore a Batman suit.

[RELATED:  'Batman' sought in 2 robberies]

Juan Carlos Nieves Morales was arrested in connection with eight armed commercial robberies from Jan. 22 to Feb. 21 at businesses in east Orange County.

"This cape criminal  string of violent armed robberies have come to an end," said Sheriff Jerry Demings.

Investigators said Nieves Morales robbed the I Love New York Pizza last Friday night, but was caught shortly after thanks to some employees.

"We had some witnesses that chased him from the business in an attempt to apprehend him or at least see which way he was going, our detectives followed up which way they had gone and recovered a phone," said Sgt. Craig Hall.

Deputies said the phone belonged to Nieves Morales and they soon learned the motive behind the crimes.

"He appears to be a heroin addict with a probably $1,000-a-day addictions habit," said Demings.

Something that the sheriff's office said is a widespread and dangerous problem in the area.

"We still have a significant issue in this community with heroin addicts and this is just a way, even though we're working on prevention and intervention side, enforcement had to be a part of the overall strategy for reducing the prevalence of heroine in this community," said Demings.

Nieves Morales is charged with one count of armed robbery. More charges are soon to follow.

Deputies said the robberies occurred at the following locations:

  • 7-Eleven at 8003 Lake UnderhillRoad on Jan. 22
  • Sherwin-Williams at 5937 E. Colonial Drive on Jan. 27
  • Mona Food Mart at 2835 S. Bumby Ave. on Jan. 29
  • 123 Dollar Food Store at 1502 N. Semoran Blvd. on Feb. 2
  • Dollar General at 911 S. Goldenrod Road on Feb. 2
  • Mi Viejo San Juan at 7229 E. Colonial Drive on Feb. 3
  • Dollar General at 6670 E. Colonial Drive on Feb. 14
  • Family Dollar at 7155 E. Colonial Drive on Feb. 21

No injuries were reported in the robberies.

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About the Authors:

Loren Korn is a native Texan who joined the News 6 team as a reporter in May 2014. She was born and raised in Houston and graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a degree in Journalism.

Justin Warmoth joined News 6 in February 2013 as our Brevard County reporter. In March of 2016, after anchoring the weekend mornings since August of 2015, Justin was promoted to weekday morning anchor. You can catch him Monday through Friday mornings from 5-7 a.m. and at noon.