Man robbed in Publix parking lot by suspect with pellet gun

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SARASOTA, FL. – Deputies arrest a man during a traffic stop after learning he was involved in the armed robbery of another man in a Publix parking lot.

It happened Thursday around 9:30 p.m. on the 5300 block of Fruitville Road.

The victim was walking in the parking lot of the Publix, when the suspect pulled up to him in a pickup truck and asked if he had change for a $10. When the victim pulled his wallet out the suspect pulled out a handgun and ordered him to get in the pickup. While in the pickup, the victim grabbed the handgun, and after a struggle, fell outside the pickup with the handgun. The suspect then drove over a median in the parking lot blowing his right front tire while fleeing the area.

A deputy, unaware of the incident, made a traffic stop on the pickup for driving with the blown tire on Fruitville Road. When the information on the pickup was given out over the air, the deputy realized he likely had the suspect. The victim was able to positively identify the suspect as the person who robbed him, and was taken into custody.

The handgun and a second handgun found in the suspect’s vehicle were pellet guns.

Detectives with the Sheriff’s office Criminal Investigations Section responded to take over the investigation.

Anyone with information about this investigation can contact the Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigations Section at 941-861-4900 or Crime Stoppers at 941-366-TIPS (8477) or via text message by texting TIP109 plus a message to CRIMES (274637).