Deputies investigating an armed robbery at Gulf Coast Town Center

Posted at 6:24 PM, Jul 26, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-26 18:24:42-04

LEE COUNTY, Fla., - Lee County deputies are investigating an armed robbery that occurred early Wednesday morning at Gulf Coast Town Center.

Deputies say it happened behind Connors Steak House around 2:30am. A man drove to the parking lot hoping to meet a girl he met online face to face.

The victim tells deputies he gave the girl some cash. That’s when 3 armed men ordered him to get into the passengers seat of his car. They then held the victim at gunpoint and robbed him of any cash he had on hand and drove him to the Regions Bank inside the Town Center.

There, the armed men demanded the victim give them his debit card and pin number before taking an undisclosed amount of money from his bank account.

They then drove the victim back to Connors, ordered him out of his car and drove off.

Deputies found the victim’s car, a 2014 Silver BMW, at the intersection of Radar Ct and Ben Hill Griffin Parkway, roughly 2 miles from Connors. According to deputies, the car was left running.

Deputies say the men were black, wearing hoodies and ski masks. They came out of a Gold GMC Envoy.

This robbery is the latest in a series of incidents at Gulf Coast Town Center. It’s raising some concerns among shoppers that more security and law enforcement presence is needed.

“If their presence is known, I believe it would be less likely to happen,” said Brian Bingham, a Lee County resident who shops at Gulf Coast Town Center.

Lee County deputies have not said steps they’re taking to deter crime in the area.

The management of Connors and Gulf Coast Town Center declined to comment Wednesday.

LCSO says the investigation is still active.