WINTER HAVEN, Fla. (WFLA) — A Winter Haven man couldn’t evade justice for long after allegedly robbing a Circle K early Saturday morning, deputies said.
The Polk County Sheriff’s Office said at about 2:57 a.m., a robbery was reported at the store located on Spirit Lake Road.
Deputies said Keith Rhoden, 24, of Winter Haven approached an employee outside the Circle K, threatened him with a handgun, and ordered him to give him cash from the register.
In addition to the cash, Rhoden allegedly took some Black & Mild cigars and a bottle of Mountain Dew before running away from the store, according to the sheriff’s office.
Deputies said as they arrived, they saw the suspect walking in a field north of Spirit Lake Road, and after a brief foot chase, deputies found him hiding under a pickup truck.
In total, the search took about 25 minutes. The sheriff’s office said Rhoden had the cash, cigars, and a green face mask in his possession, with the gun left nearby.
“The responding patrol deputies, aided by K-9 and Aviation, handled this robbery exactly how you would want them to; this was a textbook response that resulted in a dangerous criminal being taken off of the streets very quickly,” Sheriff Grady Judd said. “Credit also goes to the victim who provided a great description of the suspect and the direction, which he fled.”
Rhoden was charged with robbery with a firearm, armed burglary structure, and violation of probation for felony petit theft that just began on July 20.
No one was injured in the incident.