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Violent robbers strike twice in Dade City

DADE CITY — A 20-year-old server at Chili's was robbed and pistol-whipped at a Bank of America early Tuesday morning after depositing his tips into his account, according to a report from the Dade City Police Department.

It was one of two robberies involving violence in the early morning hours.

The Chili's server was approached by three men after depositing $120 at the bank's ATM at nearly 1 a.m. One had a gun and told the victim to get on the ground and give up all he had on him. The victim handed over his wallet, keys and cell phone.

He was ordered to give up his ATM access number. The men took $800 from his account, then made the man try to get more from the ATM. When the bank machine denied the transaction, a robber hit the man in the face with the end of the gun. The man was dazed and fell to the ground, the report states.

The man told authorities one assailant ran around the corner of the bank, at 37939 Church Ave., and possibly got into a getaway car. The other two took the man's car keys and stole his 2002 Toyota Corolla.

The car was recovered at the Lake George Manor Apartments, near 21st Street.

The victim ran to a house on Church Street for help. According to the report, he declined medical treatment. His mother picked him up at the crime scene.

As detectives investigated the robbery, they tied this crime to another that happened earlier that morning. According to Ray Velboom, chief of the Dade City Police Department, the same three men attacked a man who had been walking in downtown Dade City around midnight. Velboom said the man's wallet was stolen and he was beaten so severely he was taken to a hospital. Tuesday evening, Velboom said the man had been in stable condition, but worsened and is having surgery for head trauma. He declined to release the man's identity or age.

"We are full force on this," Velboom said about catching the criminals. He said there is a $1,000 reward through Crime Stoppers for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the men.

Call Crime Stoppers toll-free at 1-800-873-TIPS (8477) or go to www.crimestopperstb.com and click on "submit a tip."

Erin Sullivan can be reached at esullivan@sptimes.com or (727) 869-6229.

Violent robbers strike twice in Dade City 08/04/09 [Last modified: Tuesday, August 4, 2009 10:52pm]
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