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Serial armed robbery suspect sought by police

Posted at 3:31 PM, Dec 17, 2015
and last updated 2015-12-17 19:38:08-05

Investigators in Palm Beach County and on the Treasure Coast are working to identify a man they say is responsible for 8 armed robberies since October, spanning from Delray Beach all the way to Sebastian.

The man, seen in surveillance video, doesn't try to cover his face. He targets grocery stores such as Winn Dixie and Publix, and is also believed to be tied to an armed robbery at a Family Dollar Store in Port St. Lucie.

The robberies have happened at various times of the day, most recently at a Port St. Lucie Winn Dixie on Port St. Lucie Boulevard Thursday morning.

Martin County Sheriff William Snyder believes the man is responsible for two armed robberies in Martin County, most recently Wednesday night at the Publix on Martin Highway in Palm City.

Snyder says the man has a similar approach in the robberies.

"As he's talking to the clerk, he'll raise his shirt up, display a firearm, and demand cash and cigarettes," Snyder said. "It looks to us like he knows the area. He knows he can get in, grab the money and get out."

Snyder believes he is driving a fire-engine red Toyota-type car.

Snyder says a task force has been formed between multiple agencies to find the man. "Somebody like that is just so unstable. It's important that all of us work together in the community to get our hands on him."

So far, no one has been injured in the armed robberies. Snyder urges local supermarket employees to be watchful. If he does try to rob another store, he says people should comply to avoid injuries, but call authorities immediately.

"We don't know what's going on in his mind. He might be at a point where he thinks, 'hey I've got nothing to lose,' " Snyder said.

Shoppers at the Winn Dixie on Port St. Lucie Blvd. say they just missed the armed robbery.

"Thank God I was not inside the store during the time it was happening," said Ronald Foster.

"I'm usually here every morning getting coffee. When I heard this, it shocked me because I didn't think that would happen," said Dennis Booth.

"We are taking this matter very seriously because the trust and safety of our customers and associates is our highest priority. We are grateful that no one was injured in this incident and we appreciate the ongoing support of the local law enforcement agencies currently involved in this investigation,” Winn-Dixie Regional Public Relations Manager Mayra Hernandez said in a statement.

Police describe the suspect as a white man 6’ to 6’2” tall and weighing approximately 230 pounds.