Robbers mistakenly burst into Land O'Lakes salon

LAND O'LAKES — Trisha Jordan was brewing coffee Monday morning at the Cameo Salon and Spa when a man in a black ski mask barged through the front door.

"Get down on the ground!" he shouted. He pointed something — a gun? — that he concealed inside his yellow hoodie.

Jordan dropped to the floor, frightened and a little confused.

The man scanned the lobby's earth-toned walls, chic Apple monitors and designer shampoos. It hit him.

"Oh, s---," he said. "We're in the wrong place!"

The man stopped, turned and bumped into two other masked bandits. They bumbled out of the salon.

Jordan, the salon manager, dialed 911. Stylists Rachael Walsh and Kristen Davis, who had been leading hair consultations with their 9 a.m. clients, joined her in the lobby. Jordan tossed the phone to Walsh before running to lock the front door.

The stylists heard crashing sounds at the Maxicom Pharmacy next door. There, deputies said, the robbers flashed a knife and a gun and threatened to kill a pharmacy employee if he didn't fetch them prescription pills from a safe.

Seconds later, Jordan said, the burglars rushed out holding black bags of drugs.

They piled into a golden Oldsmobile and sped out of the strip mall onto Collier Parkway — but not before Walsh had memorized the license plate.

Pasco deputies said they found the getaway vehicle about 9:30 a.m. near Veterans Elementary School off County Road 54. Joseph Crain, 40, and Ronney Joe Dixon, 24, who has a history of theft arrests, were charged with armed robbery. A third suspect escaped into the woods.

School officials locked down Veterans and Quail Hollow elementary schools as search dogs tracked the person who got away.

As of Monday night, he was still on the loose. Deputies closed off the pharmacy with yellow tape.

But the stylists at Cameo — also known for its massages, manicures and pedicures — didn't let the botched burglary ruin their day. Walsh and Davis finished their clients' full color, cut and style treatments.

"They left looking great," Jordan said.

Contact Drew Harwell at (727) 869-6244 or dharwell@sptimes.com.

Robbers mistakenly burst into Land O'Lakes salon 11/15/10 [Last modified: Monday, November 15, 2010 10:42pm]

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