'Bold Move': Robber targets same store three times - WFLA News Channel 8

'Bold Move': Robber targets same store three times

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7-11 possible suspect cashing scratch off lottery tickets 7-11 possible suspect cashing scratch off lottery tickets
Dunedin robber Dunedin robber
7-11 possible suspect and unidentified female cashing scratch-off lottery tickets 7-11 possible suspect and unidentified female cashing scratch-off lottery tickets
DUNEDIN, FL -
Some might call it a bold move. Others might just say it's downright stupid.
 
A thief stole from a Dunedin convenience store three times, days apart from each other.
 
"Money comes and goes. I'm not worried about the cash," said Simon Makdissi, owner of the Munchee's Convenience Store in Dunedin. "All I'm worried about is just one of my employees getting hurt."
 
According to Makdissi and Pinellas County Detectives, the problems started on January 17th.  A man came into the store with a handgun, ordered the clerk to open the register and wanted cash.  He grabbed scratch-off lottery tickets. Deputies believe he ran away.
 
Then on January 29, when no one was in the store, the suspect broke the glass in the front door and stole about 100 lottery tickets along with several packets of cigarettes.  Surveillance cameras caught it.
 
"He had no fear whatsoever," Makdissi said. "The siren's going on and on and he just taking his time."
 
Days later, on February 1, the man came to Munchee's again, went behind the counter and ordered the clerk to open the register and safe. He grabbed cash and cigarettes then left.
 
 
"It's like a bank account," Makdissi said. "He comes, draws some money ... and walks out. It's one minute things."
 
Makdissi is offering a $500 reward for the person who turns in the robber. There are clues: You can hear the man's voice in the surveillance video. Also, people have tried to cash in the stolen tickets.
 
Days after the first robbery, surveillance cameras caught a woman cashing in some at the Citgo Gas Station down the road on Missouri Avenue in Clearwater. A few hours after the smash-and-grab break-in, a man and a woman cashed in winning lottery tickets at the 7-11 located at 100 Alt 19 in Palm Harbor. Detectives say those tickets were the ones stolen from Munchee's.
 
"At this point - {detectives} believe that could well be the suspect," said Cecilia Barreda, spokesperson for the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office. "We feel that companion who was with him might be able to assist us. Therefore we're reaching out to her as well."
 
Witnesses say the suspect is a white man about 6 feet tall, 165 pounds with a medium build. In the video he's wearing a gray jacket with a hood. The jacket has a pretty distinctive red lining along the collar.
 
If you know more, you can call Detective Jeff Capra of the Robbery/Homicide Unit or Detective Holly Tsanakaliotis of the Burglary and Pawn Unit at 727-582-6200. Or you can call CrimeStoppers at 800-873-TIPS and remain anonymous.
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