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Should bystanders get involved during robbery?

Posted at 2:21 PM, Nov 20, 2015
and last updated 2015-11-20 14:21:43-05

“When you watch the video it looks like the guy was in the Duke’s of Hazard the way he jumped over the counter,” said Detective David Boyer with the Pasco Sheriff’s Office.

Middle of the day, customers all around, yet a robbery suspect jumped over the counter, pushed back the clerk, grabbed cash from the register and ran.

In surveillance video from the Tailgate Mart in Lutz on State Road 54, you can also see him get in the passenger side of a black Chevy Impala and drive off.

“So brazen and so in your face. You expect it to be with a  mask and a gun. The middle of the night, not at 2:30 in the afternoon,” said store manager Covey Murray.

Not only does the video show the suspect very clearly, you can also see customers watching him. Then getting out of the way.

One of them appears to even grab his 2-wheel scooter and move it out of the way, too.

The store manager says everyone was stunned.

“You can see the cashier and the two customers kind of like whoa! You don’t expect it. You get comfortable in your place, that young guy has been here for over a year working for me and one of the customers in the footage is here every day,” said Murray.

We showed the surveillance video to other customers. Some said they would have tried to stop by the robber and not let him get away.

“I would have tried to stop the guy or help the clerk out. It’s one guy versus three people at that point,” said Jovan McNeill.

“Seeing how he didn’t have a gun or a knife or anything like that, I would have tried to help him out, said Geovanni Suarez.

But the Pasco Sheriff’s office said those customers in the video did the right thing

“It’s important that you maintain your personal safety, and the safety of any family that you would have with you, and then obviously work to be the best witness for the sheriff’s office that you can. You never know, even though it doesn’t appear that this guy has a weapon, he could pull out a knife or pull out a gun and start killing.”

“You worry that he might have a weapon?”

“I am a CWO (concealed weapons) carrier so I wouldn’t worry about that at all,” said McNeill.

Thankfully, while the clerk was shaken up, he wasn’t seriously hurt.

Anyone who may have any information about this robbery or vehicle is asked to call the Pasco County Public Safety Communications Center at 727-847-8102.