St. Pete police release surveillance video of armed robber who tied up employees, took receipts

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - St. Petersburg police have released dramatic surveillance video of a knife-wielding robber who tied up two employees at a pizza restaurant and then fled with the night's receipts. Investigators are now asking for the public's help.

The robbery occurred around 3:30 a.m. last Sunday at Wood Fire Pizza at 344 1st Avenue South.

The business had closed for the night and the two employees were still working inside. 

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Trish Robinson is one of those employees, and she said it had been a busy Honda Grand Prix weekend.

"They probably knew it was going to be a good weekend, there was a ton of people in town," she said.

When one of the employees went out the back door to empty trash, he was confronted by a man who punched him in the face and threatened him with a butcher knife.  He then bound the employee's hands with zip ties, forced him back into the business and pushed him to the floor.

The robber then made his way into an inner office where he confronted Trish Robinson.  He threatened her with the knife and zip-tied her hands as well.

He grabbed the night's receipts from a desk and fled.

Robinson is back at work again on Friday, and her hands nervously shake when she talks about being back. It scares her.

"I'm sorry, I'm just thinking about that right now," she says, "I haven't had to be here, usually we close at midnight. It'll be my first time being here like that late."

She's hopeful though that the robber will be caught because she came forward.

And St. Petersburg police don't believe he got away too far, and his distinctive Bob Marley jacket should make him stand out.

"We're hopeful that somebody recognizes that jacket. We believe this person was operating on a bicycle so there's a good possibility he doesn't live very far," says St. Pete police spokesperson Mike Puetz.

When one of the employees went out the back door to empty trash, he was confronted by a man who punched him in the face and threatened him with a butcher knife.  He then bound the employee's hands with zip ties, forced him back into the business and pushed him to the floor.

The robber then made his way into an inner office where he confronted the second employee, a female.  He threatened her with the knife and zip-tied her hands as well.

He grabbed the night's receipts from a desk and fled.

He's described as a white male in his 20's, approximately 5'10", 130 lbs., with a pockmarked/acne face, wearing a dark hoodie and was possibly riding a bicycle.

Detectives are asking for the public's assistance. Anyone with information is asked to call St. Petersburg Police at 727-893-7780, or Text-A-Tip to 727-420-8911 or leave a confidential tip at 727-892-5000.

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