Friday, January 19, 2018
Public safety

Deputies search for men who beat, robbed 71-year-old Seffner store clerk

SEFFNER — A 71-year-old convenience store clerk is in the hospital after two men threw him to the ground, kicking and punching him in the head and stomach while stealing cash and cigarettes, deputies said.

The Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office posted the surveillance tape on YouTube and is asking for the public's help in identifying the two suspects, who were last seen at 9 p.m. Monday at the U.S. 92 Convenience Store at 102 U.S. 92 W and Kingsway Road in Seffner.

The tape shows one man grabbing Hasimbhai Indawala by the shirt from across the counter while another man goes behind the counter with a knife and has Indawala open the cash register.

The first man then grabs Indawala and throws him to the ground, beating him several times in the head and stomach.

After stealing an unknown amount of cash, the second man attacks Indawala.

"You see in the video, he backs away as if to say, 'Don't hurt me, take the money,' " Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Debbie Carter said. "And then they come back and just brutally attack him."

The amount of violence, especially after the suspects already had the money, is unusual, Carter said.

"Normally, individuals, when they rob a place, they want to get in and get out," Carter said. "But this clerk was totally compliant and they still brutalized him."

The suspects left the store in a dark, four-door sedan, driving in an unknown direction.

Indawala was taken to Brandon Regional Hospital and then moved to Tampa General Hospital for treatment due to the severity of his injuries, deputies said.

Anyone with information about the suspects is asked to call the Sheriff's Office at (813) 247-8200.

People also can call Crime Stoppers toll-free at 1-800-873-8477 or report anonymously online at crimestop­perstb.com.

Caitlin Johnston can be reached at [email protected] or (813) 225-3111.

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