SPRING HILL — A 22-year-old Spring Hill man was arrested Wednesday night, about 12 minutes after he tried to rob a pizza restaurant, authorities say.
The Hernando Sheriff's Office says Phillip Joseph Steinberg walked into Village Pizza, 4070 Deltona Blvd., shortly after 8 p.m. wearing a black ski mask and brandishing a knife.
A female clerk thought he was joking and refused to hand over any money. The robber left empty-handed, taking off the ski mask as he got into a silver Mitsubishi, authorities say.
Deputies say a restaurant employee got a good look at the robber and a motorist who saw him rip off the mask followed and called 911.
The robber drove to a home in the 3200 block of Painters Street, where deputies learned that Steinberg had borrowed the car. Deputies said they got permission to search the car and found the ski mask. A Village Pizza employee also identified Steinberg as the robber.
Steinberg was booked into the Hernando County Detention Center on one count of armed robbery.
He was held Thursday without bail because he was on probation at the time of his arrest.
State records show Steinberg has prior convictions for battery, burglary, grand theft, petty theft and criminal mischief.