He’s struck three times in less than three weeks, always at night. In each instance he wore dark clothing and threatened employees. Two of his targets were fast-food joints. A third was a small convenience store.
During each robbery he carried a silver pistol. And each time he covered his face with a bandana. Total haul: $1,066 — so far.
“He hasn’t fired his weapon yet. There haven’t been any customers. There haven’t been any injuries,” said Pinecrest spokeswoman Michelle Hammontree. “But they [robbers] become more brave, and we don’t want this to escalate to anything else.”
Police don’t know his name but they know what he looks like. The fast-food filcher was caught on surveillance video ripping off a Burger King in the village last week. Police believe he’s about five-foot 10-inches tall and of average weight.
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“We suspect he’s the same person because the descriptions given are all similar,’’ she said. “He just goes in and asks for cash.”
His first robbery came just before midnight on Nov. 24 as most people were at home, still digesting their Thanksgiving feasts.
That’s when, according to police, a man wearing a black mask and a brown sweater walked into a Farm Store at 12075 S. Dixie Hwy., pointed a silver pistol at two workers cleaning the store and demanded money.
One of the workers called police after the intruder got away with $70. The victims said the thief didn’t touch anything, so police said they didn’t need to set up a crime scene. Nothing was recorded on surveillance video.
Four days later, the masked intruder struck again. This time, police said, it was just after 9 p.m. when a man went up to the customer window at a Dairy Queen at 8545 S. Dixie Hwy. Then he pointed a silver revolver at an employee and demaded he clear out the register, the employee told police. This time the brazen burglar made off with $200.
Finally on Sunday just after sundown, the man with the silver gun entered the kitchen area of a Burger King at 13201 S. Dixie Hwy. and, according to police, “demanded all the money in the safe.”
This time, he was wearing a hat, a tan one with an American flag on the front and — more important — his actions were caught on several surveillance videos.
Though his facial features aren’t captured clearly on any of the several cameras at Burger King, the two-minute clip released by police shows the man entering the store through a rear door then walking directly into the kitchen. Another camera then shows him holding his weapon and leading two women and a man into a back room. At one point, police say the man says, “Don’t run, get back there.” Then one of the victims opens and empties a safe.
After leaving the store, the man can be seen walking through the parking lot. Somewhere in those dark clothes: $794 in cash.