Man robs Albertsons with customers inside

Police exploring connection to Kissimmee robbery

ALTAMONTE SPRINGS, Fla. - Altamonte Springs police are looking for a man they say walked into a grocery store with shoppers inside, forced a manager to open the safe at gunpoint and robbed the store.

Police said the man walked into the Albertsons at the corner of Palm Springs Boulevard and State Road 436 around 6:30 p.m. Sunday. Investigators think the man had been planning the heist.

"How methodical he was. How he targeted the manager. How he almost knew what was going on and walked the manager to the room that it concerning for us," said Officer Rob Pelton, spokesman for Altamonte Police.

Police said the man walked to the back of the store where the pharmacy was and targeted the manager of the store. The man then gave the manager a note indicating he was being robbed and to take him to the safe.

The manager calmly took the man into the back and opened the safe for him, police said. According to investigators the robber pointed a gun at the manager the whole time.

Police said the man took off with an undisclosed amount of money and no one was injured.

Police are doing an active search of the area and hope to identify the suspect from surveillance video inside and outside the store. They expect to release the video Monday.

Investigators say a police dog tracked the robber's scent outside the store, but shortly after lost the track, indicating a getaway car was likely nearby.

Officers are looking into a connection between the Albertsons robbery and another robbery in Osceola County, where on Wednesday a man robbed a Kissimmee Aldi grocery store in a similar fashion.

Both men passed a note to the manager and both men have similar descriptions.

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