Bystander tries to chase armed robber

Deputies search for suspect who fled into woods

The Pinellas County Sheriff's Office continues to investigate the Friday morning attempted robbery of a Palm Harbor pharmacy.
Investigators are seeking a man who tried to hold up the St. Mark's pharmacy in the Ridgemoor Commons shopping plaza on East Lake Road at gunpoint.
Witnesses said the attempted robbery caused chaos, but they are thankful for what one bystander tried to do.
"I'm an old guy, but I'm lethal with a Chevy," said Mike Bosse.
Bosse arrived at the shopping plaza to pick up his dry cleaning but ended in pursuit of a masked man with a gun.
The attempted robbery happened around 9:23 a.m., according to the Sheriff's Office.
Investigators said the suspect used a gun and ordered the owners of the pharmacy to the ground. A female employee was able to get out of the front door and started screaming for help.
That's when the suspect ran off.
"The lady over here at the pharmacy, I heard her screaming. And that's my pharmacy," he said.
As the armed suspect ran off from his unsuccessful attempt to rob the pharmacy, he ducked behind the shopping plaza.
Bosse jumped in his car, trying to head him off at the pass.
The suspect's only options were the water, where we spotted a gator swimming, or the woods.
He choose the woods, sending the Pinellas County Sheriff's office on a frantic search to find him.
Ray Jacobs, a Tarpon Woods resident questioned by deputies, feared the suspect fled into his neighborhood.
"They want to go door to door, just to see if anyone saw anything, if they were out jogging or walking earlier this morning," said Jacobs.
Back at the shopping plaza, the dry cleaner was proud of Mike's heroic effort.
"He's my lucky customer! He tried," Milissa Mazzitelli said.
But Mike realized the danger he could have gotten himself into.
"My wife was screaming ‘What were you thinking?’ What I was thinking was that if he went back into that neighborhood, there's a bunch of senior citizens, it's a golf course community, and if he was armed, I got a car," he said.
The Sheriff's Office says the suspect wore camouflage clothing and a mask or hood over his face. He didn't get anything from the pharmacy and no one was hurt.
Anyone with information is asked to call Detective Loftus at 727-582-6200.


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