Deputies: Robbers target men, rip off necklaces at Publix

At least 3 victims attacked in busy parking lot, authorities say

DELTONA, Fla. - Bold robbers have been arrested for targeting random men for their necklaces in a Publix parking lot, according to authorities.

It happened Thursday at the Publix on the corner of Howland Boulevard and Elkam Boulevard in Deltona.

Police said Sidney Walker, 19, and Gelani Cox, 20, ran past women with purses and straight for men who were just feet from the front door of the busy grocery store.

"They ran past one guy and ripped his chain off, and I looked up and saw these two black kids running towards me. I sort of looked up and he snagged my chain," one victim told a Volusia County 911 dispatcher.

The out-of-breath victim had just chased robbers through the parking lot after they stole his gold chain from his neck. Deputies said he was just one of at least three victims attacked by Walker and Cox.

They also attacked one man who wears a medical device to treat his cancer. According to the deputy's report, the device was nearly ripped from his chest by the attacker who thought he had a necklace.

"It's hooked to my heart. So, if they would have pulled that out, anything could have happened. I could have died. I could have bleed to death. Anything," said the victim.

The man asked only to be identified as John.

"To do something like that in broad daylight in a packed parking lot, they're not afraid," said John.

John's wife Pam said she saw the men run toward their family then attack her husband.

"I was terrified. Terrified for his life," she said. "If they would have compromised that port, they could have killed him."

Security cameras caught the robberies on tape and helped put the suspects in jail.

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