St. Petersburg police released surveillance video on Friday afternoon that shows a man who is considered a person of interest in the attempted kidnapping and robbery of two female real estate agents in St. Petersburg.
Look closely at the video, from the Walmart located at 8001 U.S. Highway 19 North, in Pinellas Park, to see if you recognize the man. In the video the man is seen near the store’s electronics counter. He’s also seen leaving with a bag of items.
Police say the suspect in the attacks made two appointments with two different realtors to see two different homes. In one call he says, “Hi. Uh, this is Robert Evans. I’m calling about a property you have listed. If you would give me a call … appreciate it. Thank you. Bye.”
Police believe the man lives in the area. They’ve received 10 tips since the story broke Wednesday.
“We believe this man is dangerous. His behavior, there was a method of planning that went into this. I’ve heard people ask whether we believe that he was serious in his ransom demands. Obviously we believe he was very serious,” St. Petersburg assistant police chief Jim Previtera said. “We want to speak to this man, and we think somebody’s gonna recognize him from those photos.”
Investigators say in the first case, a female realtor was showing a home to a man in the 1700 block of Oxford Street North when the suspect pulled out a handgun then secured the woman’s hands and feet with zip ties. A phone call was made to her husband to request a ransom.
The gunman stole the victim’s car keys and cell phone and then drove off, investigators say. The woman was able to loosen her feet and escape to a nearby home.
That realtor said she is recovering from the nightmare. She said she’s relying on her husband’s sense of humor to recover from her ordeal.
Investigators say in the second case, which occurred just hours later, a realtor was showing a home to a man in the 1200 block of 58th street North, when he robbed her at gunpoint.
The suspect in both cases is described as a white man, mid 40’s, 5’5″ to 5’8″ tall, with a medium build.
He was wearing a straw hat, a dark blue shirt and black pants and was driving a silver Nissan Murano, which was caught on tape by a security camera.
Both victims report the attacker has a strong “Northeast” accent.
Anyone having information about the man’s identity or any other information about the case is asked to call (727) 893-7780. Calls will be forwarded directly to detectives at that number.
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