Thursday, April 19, 2018
Public safety

Dade City man accused of robbing store, hiding in stranger's home

DADE CITY — Monday night, 9:30. Three males, all bandanas and guns, walk into Food Mart on Lock Street and hold up the clerk. One robber bashes the man's head with a gun. The clerk hands over $1,000 cash in a brown paper bag and the bandits leave.

Authorities arrive to investigate but make no arrests.

Just before 8 the next morning, an off-duty officer spies a male crossing yards on Missouri Avenue, about a mile from the Food Mart, and calls police. The officer loses sight of the trespasser. Police scan the area.

Around the same time, a man with dreadlocks and dollar signs on either side of his face bursts though the front door of a home at 36712 Jefferson Ave., according to Pasco Sheriff's Office and Dade City Police reports, and grabs a person inside by the throat, saying he'll break the victim's neck if the victim opens the front door to law enforcement.

Soon, authorities see the dreadlocked man running away from the same house. The occupant tells them the man had been hiding in the bathroom. Authorities catch up to Reginald Lynn Gaines Jr., 23, in a nearby yard and question him. He tells them he was running from police and that "his homeboy told him to run," the report states.

They arrest Gaines on charges of prowling, burglary and aggravated assault. He later confesses to robbing the Food Mart, reports state.

Gaines, of 1203 Goldfinch Ave., is booked into the Land O'Lakes jail on $350,000 bail.

Contact Alex Orlando at [email protected] or (727) 869-6247.

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