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Palm Coast Tuesday, Sep. 15, 2015 6 years ago

Staples on Old Kings Road robbed at gunpoint, deputies search for suspect

The robber stole about $1,500.
by: Jonathan Simmons News Editor

Sheriff's Office detectives are searching for a man who robbed the Staples on Old Kings Road north of Palm Coast Parkway at gunpoint Sept. 12, stealing about $1,500.

The theft happened after the store had locked its doors at around 9 p.m. One of the employees, a technical supervisor, was in the cash room near the front of the store, sitting in a chair facing away from the door, when a man with a grey hoodie pulled tight around his face walked up to him from behind and pointed a small, black semiautomatic handgun at him.

The robber told the supervisor that he didn't want to hurt him, then ordered him to put all of the money from the store's safe in a black backpack, according to a Sheriff's Office case report. The employed complied, placing three blue bank envelopes in the bag — a total of about $1,500.

"The suspect kept rushing him to hurry up, and thrusted the gun at him," according to the case report, then told the employee to give him his phone. The employee unplugged the office desk phone and handed over his cell phone. The robber made him lie down on the floor with his hands on his head and told him to count to 100, then left the room. 

About 20 seconds later, the robber came back and said, "I need to hear you counting," and the employee started counting out loud. When he got to 100, he stood up. His cell phone on a desk just outside the cash room, and other employees were still working, unaware of the robbery.

He yelled that he'd been robbed, and other employees came running. Several called 911. Deputies arrived and used a police dog to search for the robber, but didn't find him. 

A deputy investigating the case found the rear emergency door open, but no one saw the robber flee. A store employee told the deputy that she let the last customer out at about 9:05, locked the front doors, let out an employee about 10 minutes later, and locked the doors again. She was standing at the copy and print counter about 10 minutes later when the tech supervisor burst out of the cash room yelling that he'd been robbed.

The deputy wrote that the store's rear emergency door had been forced open from the inside, with the door mechanism "forcibly damaged," and boxes had been knocked over in the rear stock room. 

The Sheriff's Office has asked anyone with information about the robbery to call Detective Robert Blanton at 586-4878 or email [email protected]. Or, to remain anonymous, call Crime Stoppers at 1-888-277-8477.

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