‘The scariest feeling I’ve ever felt:’ St. Cloud woman followed, robbed after bank visit

Robbery happened following trip to Chase Bank on 13th Street

ST. CLOUD, Fla. – A St. Cloud woman is now paranoid and missing hundreds of dollars in cash after she was robbed.

Holly Gronau left work on June 1 and drove to Chase Bank on 13th Street to withdraw money for rent.

“I don’t want anyone to see that I have this money, so I put it in my purse, and I zipped it up,” she said.

Gronau then made a quick stop at Vape Depot not far from the bank. She parked her car right in front of the store windows.

Within five minutes, Gronau said someone snatched her purse, which had her car keys and $850 inside.

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“I came back out to my car, and I looked in my car, and I’m like, ‘Where is my purse? Where is my stuff?’” Gronau said. “My heart, like, sunk.”

According to an incident report, St. Cloud police obtained surveillance footage from Vape Depot and street cameras. The video revealed a silver Chevy following her from Chase Bank to the Vape Shop.

Police said that when Gronau arrived at the store, the suspect vehicle parked five spots away.

When she went inside, they pulled up right next to her car, opened the door, then grabbed the items and took off.

“How bold can you be to do it in broad daylight?” Gronau said.

She feels violated knowing that she was followed and is thankful she didn’t go straight home after leaving the bank.

“It’s literally the scariest feeling I’ve ever felt in my life,” Gronau said.

Gronau is a mother. She said her son has medical needs, and this robbery could’ve impacted him.

“In my head thinking if I would have pulled out even more money, that (could have) been my grocery money. That (could have) been my son’s co-pay. That (could have) been his medication that I would not have been able to afford. Then, I don’t know what I would’ve done,” she said.

A locksmith made her a new set of car keys Thursday since her first set was stolen.

On the door handle of the car is dust police used to find finger prints in hopes of identifying the suspect.

“He didn’t just take rent money; he took a lot of confidence from me as a person,” Gronau said.

She warns other Chase Bank members who frequent that location to be cautious, pay attention and don’t make the same mistakes she did.

She fears this can happen to someone else if the suspect is not caught.

Detectives were not able to identify the driver from the surveillance video or the finger prints, but they are still investigating.

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About the Author:

Treasure joined News 6 at the start of 2021, coming to the Sunshine State from Michigan.