Local News

Authorities investigate robbery

AVON PARK - Hours after a robber entered a convenience store in Avon Park, committed a robbery and shot a clerk, Highlands County investigators were still gathering evidence Thursday in hopes of finding a suspect. Nell Hays, public information officer for the Highlands County Sheriff's Office, said surveillance video footage, as well as an interview with the clerk who is recovering, failed to provide a good description of the robber. The perpetrator of the robbery was so covered in clothes, it was impossible to tell from either of the above sources the person's race or whether they are male or female, she said. She's hoping that someone in the general public will come forward and provide additional information.
The robbery occurred about 10:30 p.m. Wednesday evening at the Shell Gas Station and Convenience Store, 998 U.S. 27 North, Avon Park, Hays said in a press release. She said the robber entered the store with a handgun, which prompted the clerk to open the cash drawer and give money to the robber, she said. The robber then shot the clerk, despite the clerk handing over money, she said. After shooting the clerk, the robber fled, she added. Hays said she does not recall any similar robberies in the near past. The sheriff's office is checking with other area law enforcement agencies to see if they have had similar robberies. Anyone with information can call the Criminal Investigations Unit at (863) 402-7250 or Detective Hank Smith at (863) 381-2814. They can submit information anonymously by calling Heartland Crime Stoppers at (800) 226-8477 or at www.heartlandcrimestoppers.com. jmeisel@highlandstoday.com (863) 386-5834