PORT RICHEY, Fla. (WFLA) – Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office deputies now believe the man who robbed a Brandon jewelry store earlier this month is responsible for an August Pasco robbery.
“Deputies have identified a surveillance photo as the suspect in the below listed investigation and are asking for the public’s assistance in identifying him. The suspect’s photo came from a recent similar case in Pasco County,” deputies said.
The Pasco County case stems from an incident in the Gulf View Square Mall in Port Richey. There, the man was captured on camera trying on a bracelet.
Pat, who didn’t want to reveal her identity, was the employee who helped the man. “And he asked to see a bracelet. He looked at the bracelet once, gave it back to me,” Pat explained. “Then, a couple of minutes later, he asked to see the bracelet again and put it on his wrist and unfortunately he took off running.”
Fast forward to September. A man fitting the same description entered the Mirage Diamonds & Fine Jewelry store in Brandon. He convinced a clerk to let him try on a $23,000 necklace.
The crook even checked out how he looks in the mirror before running off on foot.
The clerk in that case, gave chase. He grabbed onto the hood of the man’s late model Camaro and was eventually tossed off on Brandon Boulevard. The suspect then fled north of I-75.
The clerk suffered serious injuries, initially described as life-threatening, and is still recovering at a local hospital.
The suspect is described as a black male. He is approximately 6’1″ and is 25 – 30 years old. He had a trimmed beard, and was wearing a dark blue hat, black T-shirt, dark long pants and black shoes. He was last seen driving a silver, newer model two-door Chevrolet Camaro.
Pat is hopeful deputies catch this guy before he strikes again. She worries about what customers will think of her store think once they learn it was robbed. She’s hopeful they know it’s a safe place.
“Our store is a very safe place and you know, we’re on camera. We know the police would come and see his face on the camera,” Pat said.