Suspect in custody in Polk County after five businesses were held up at gunpoint

POLK COUNTY, Fla. - An armed robbery suspect is in custody after a night-long manhunt. Authorities say he held up five businesses before fleeing in a stolen car. The search caused westbound I-4 near Polk City to be shut down for hours.

The suspect, who has not been identified, was found deep in a wooded area.

The string of robberies began shortly after 11 p.m. when the robber threatened a clerk at a gas station at 825 South Florida Avenue. He then went on to hold up four other businesses, including a Dominos Pizza, Taco Bell, Checkers and a MacDonald's restaurant.

A Lakeland Street Crimes unit caught up with the suspect just after 12:45 a.m. After a pursuit on I-4, the suspect fled on foot near U.S. 27.

Westbound Interstate 4 was shut down until around 5:45 a.m. and traffic was re-routed. Eastbound remained open.

Polk and Osceola county helicopters were used in the search along multiple K9's.

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