CARROLLWOOD — Seeking shelter from the ceaseless rain, three men took cover early Wednesday morning outside a Publix store in Carrollwood. But as the men waited out the downpour under an awning, two other men rode up on bicycles, brandished guns and demanded their belongings.
The robbers might have gotten away, if not for a brush with Hillsborough County sheriff's deputies, who spotted the pair as they fled, authorities said.
Now, Carlos Angee, 21, and Nomar Hernandez, 20, are both jailed on robbery and grand theft charges, the result of what deputies say was a crime of opportunity that the duo pulled off with pellet guns.
The robbery happened just after 1 a.m. at the Publix at 12026 Anderson Road, deputies said. After approaching the group of men, Angee and Hernandez asked if they had any cigarettes they could smoke, officials said. But before anyone could light up, Angee and Hernandez pulled what looked like handguns, authorities said. They forced all three men to give up their cell phones and wallets before pedaling west on Cedar Creek Boulevard.
But moments later, deputies patrolling the nearby Hunter's Run apartments spotted the two riding through the parking lot. Having heard initial reports of the robbery, they stopped the pair and arrested them.
Angee was still carrying his pellet gun, deputies said. A search turned up the stolen property, which the pair had stashed nearby.
Angee and Hernandez were both held in the Hillsborough County Jail without bail.