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Deputies still looking for suspect in Labelle pawn shop robbery

Posted at 9:27 PM, May 20, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-20 21:27:30-04

LABELLE — Hendry County deputies are looking for a man they say impersonated an officer and robbed a pawn shop in Labelle.

Deputies said that man also tied up the staff. All the employees at the Capital Pawn were back at work Thursday, and thankfully, no one was hurt.

The Sheriff’s Office is now using the security footage captured at the store to search for the man responsible. The staff at the Capital Pawn wouldn't talk to us about what happened, but just across the street, Labelle Mayor Dave Lyons owns Lyons Sign Shop. He tells us he saw the commotion Wednesday.

"I was pulling out from here to go across town, and I saw all the activity there," said Lyons.

Lyons couldn’t believe it when he learned the employees had been tied up and robbed by a man impersonating an officer.

"You don’t hear about this kind of thing ever out here," said Lyons.

We reached out to retired police officer Dave Thomas, who now teaches Justice Studies at Florida Gulf Coast University. He said, as soon as the fake officer walked into the store, it was a red flag.

"The police don’t just show up asking hey I need to check out your business," said Thomas.

Thomas said, if you do ever find yourself questioning whether you’re dealing with actual law enforcement, there’s an easy way to know.

"Every officer has to have credentials. It’s not the badge, it’s not the gun, it is going to be an I.D. card," said Thomas.

Although the criminal is still on the loose, the Sheriff’s Office said the public is not in any danger. Lyons said the incident might just make shop owners a little more cautious.

“We’ll be a little more vigilant so to speak of what’s going on," said Lyons.

The only description deputies could offer was that it was either a White or Hispanic male. Agents with the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives are also investigating this case.