Deputies searching for armed robber who tied up two Dollar General employees in Lakeland

Heartland Crime Stoppers offering $3,000 for tip

LAKELAND, Fla. — A serial robbery suspect is now on the Polk County Sheriff’s radar.

Investigators say the man responsible is armed, dangerous and likely to do it again. The suspects' crimes spread across two counties.

“Well it is scary, To know that it happened this close in the neighborhood I live close by,” Barbar Dunhoft said. 

Afraid is an understatement for customers coming into one Lakeland Dollar General. 

“There’s usually not any robberies here,” Abby Villarreal, another customer said.

Polk County residents finding out for the first time were shocked to learn the Dollar General on East County 540A, was violently robbed.

Not only did a man steal from the store, but he was caught on surveillance video binding and tying up two employees. 

Detectives say there are likely more victims, claiming the suspect has robbed places in Winter Haven and there have been seven similar crimes in Tampa since December.

“It is disturbing that there’s that kind of violence going on that close to our home,” Dunhoft said.

"We're looking for a black male, 6 foot tall, about 200 to 250 pounds. He's a big man," said Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd. "He carries a gun most of the time, though he didn't in the last robbery."

“You can run but I’m pretty sure you’re going to get caught,” Villarreal, said.

Heartland Crime Stoppers is offering a $3,000 cash reward for information leading to the suspect's arrest. You can submit an anonymous tip by calling (800) 226-TIPS or at

"Tell us who he is, you're going on a shopping spree, he's going to jail," said Sheriff Judd.

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