Relative IDs Jacksonville Publix robbery suspect: 'He loves milk'

The robber got away with over $2,000 -- and a gallon of milk


JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A tip from the suspect's relative helped lead to the arrest this week of a Jacksonville man accused of robbing a Publix with a bomb threat, according to Duval County court records.

A warrant was issued Monday for the arrest of Joshua Adam Shelar after the family member notified police that he believed his loved one was responsible for last week's robbery, court records show.

Shelar, 29, was taken into custody Tuesday after he walked into Memorial Hospital and police learned he had a warrant out for his arrest. He's charged with armed robbery and making a hoax bomb threat.

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The arrest stems from the April 19 robbery of the Publix on San Jose Boulevard near Interstate 295 in the Mandarin neighborhood.

Police said a man entered the grocery store and handed an employee a note, saying he'd planted three bombs in the store and demanding $6,000. Instead, he got away with $2,152 -- and a gallon of milk.

Surveillance cameras recorded the man coming and going in a cab, though investigators could not make out which taxi company it belonged to. But two days later, police got a tip.

The tipster told investigators he shared a taxi with the suspect and was with him before and after the robbery unfolded. He said he gave Shelar a hat and shirt he believed were used in the robbery.

The same day, Shelar's relative called police and said he had information about the robbery. He said his son was acting paranoid and made comments suggesting he was suspected of carrying out the crime.

After looking into news coverage of the robbery, he saw reports that the robber had taken a gallon of milk. "That is just like Joshua. He loves milk," the relative told police.

According to Shelar's arrest warrant, the relative's suspicions were confirmed when he was shown surveillance images of the robbery. A Publix clerk then picked Shelar out of a photo lineup.

Jail logs show Shelar is being held without bond.

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