61ºF

Group creates distraction to commit robbery in Mount Dora, officials say

Teen pushed pregnant store owner during confrontation, affidavit says

photo

MOUNT DORA, Fla. – Six people were arrested Wednesday in a robbery at the Wasabi Buffet restaurant in Mount Dora.

Authorities were called to the restaurant at 16700 Highway 441 at about 6:24 p.m. when it was reported that there was a possible fight going on in the parking lot.

A family traveling through the area reportedly created a distraction theft that escalated into a robbery.

Restaurant employees told police that the group entered the restaurant and requested the servers to prepare the area for a group of 40 people.

While employees were being distracted, one server went to the front counter where she checked for her wallet and noticed it was gone, according to the affidavit.

Police said the store owner, who is 34-weeks pregnant, saw one person with a brown bag, which the owner grabbed and noticed her wallet was inside. During the confrontation, the owner was pushed by one member of the group in her chest and belly as he attempted to leave with the brown bag, according to the affidavit.

The restaurant chef from the sushi bar got into a physical fight while he attempted to rescue the owner from the attack, police said.

Later, a brown bag was recovered, along with a money bag containing more than $1,000, a light-colored purse that belonged to a server and a black wallet that belonged to the store owner, the affidavit said.

Of the six arrested and charged, Danny Nicholas, 25, and Crissy Ross, 37, were charged with principal to the first-degree to grand theft, and Nancy Nicholas, 55, was charged with principal to the first-degree to grand theft and possession of marijuana less than 20 grams, police said.

The 16-year-old boy who attacked the store owner was charged with robbery, felony battery on a pregnant female, possession of marijuana less than 20 grams and grand theft, according to the affidavit.

An 18-year-old girl was charged with principal to the first degree to grand theft and resisting a law enforcement officer without violence, according to the arrest report. A 14-year-old girl was charged with principal to the first degree to grand theft, police said.