Deputies concerned about repeat convenience store crooks

Marion County Sheriff's deputies on the hunt for gas station robbers

MARION COUNTY, Fla. - Marion County Sheriff's deputies are on the hunt for gas station robbers who may have struck four times.

In the latest crime, the robber held a gun to a pregnant clerk's face. It makes authorities fear the criminals may grow more bold.

Local 6 learned deputies have patrolled each of the two gas stations hit twice by the robbers, but clerks are not taking any risks.

"When I looked up there's somebody standing there with a gun," said Mike Johnson, who faced the barrel of a gun last Wednesday when a robber burst into his Silver Springs Speedy Food Mart. "I'd rather give you the money and go home to my wife, go home to my family at the end of the night, than to risk doing anything stupid."

On security video, the gunman walks in, Johnson throws his arms up and hands over the entire register full of cash.

In each of the four crimes, the crooks steal the entire register, adding to why deputies think all four robberies may be connected.

"Scared. What if one day I'm here? I'm pregnant. So what if one day I'm here and it's being robbed," said frequent customer, Brittney Richards. "Next time, anybody could have gotten shot, anbody could have gotten hurt."

All four cases may be connected because deputies also say the criminals looked the same, held similar guns, and each time, they also ran from the crime instead of getting into a car.

Authorities released the following alert Friday evening:

The Marion County Sheriff's Office Tactical Investigations Unit is searching for robbery suspects who pointed guns at victims during four separate robberies this year. There is evidence indicating the robberies may be connected. In each case, the clothing, gun, and the suspect(s) share similarities, and the robberies took place at convenience stores.

10:45 p.m., Wednesday, October 30, at Speedy Food Mart, 5501 N.E. 35th Street, Silver Springs - the suspects are: black males - first suspect is 6 feet tall, has dreads and was wearing dark baggie clothing; the second suspect has a lighter skin tone, is 5 feet 10 inches tall, was wearing a gray sweatshirt and black pants. 10:41 p.m., Wednesday, December 4, at the same food mart, the suspect is: black male about 5 feet 10 inches tall, 160 pounds - was wearing a black long sleeve shirt, jeans, black shoes and a black ski mask. 2:55 a.m., Saturday, December 9, at the Kangaroo Express, 12475 N.W. Gainesville Road, Reddick - the suspects are: black males - the first is 6 feet 4 inches tall, was wearing a "Jason" type hockey mask and black clothing; the second is 5 feet 4 inches tall and was wearing black mask and all black clothing. 10:05 p.m., Tuesday, December 10, at the same Kangaroo Express, the suspects are: black males - first suspect was wearing a black jacket, khaki pants, and a black ski mask; second suspect was wearing blue jeans, black long sleeve shirt, blue gloves and a black ski mask.

If you know anything about these robberies, you could earn up to $1,000 by calling (352) 369-6814 or Crime Stoppers of Marion County at (352) 368-7867.

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