Clearwater police have asked for the public’s help in identifying a man who has robbed two stores over the past three days. In the first holdup, he brandished a machete, and in the other he used a knife that injured a clerk.
The crimes occurred just after noon Sunday at Dollar General, 1600 N. Myrtle Ave., and just before noon Tuesday at Family Dollar, 1279 S. Missouri Ave.
Detectives released surveillance video from the stores Wednesday.
“We’re extremely concerned about what might happen the next time,” Police Chief Anthony Holloway said in a news release. “The first time, he was satisfied with just the money. The second time, he lunged at the clerk with the knife and cut her. His level of aggression is increasing. That’s disturbing.”
On Sunday at Dollar General, the man picked up a pack of razor blades and went to the counter to pay for them, police said. When the clerk opened the cash drawer, the suspect pulled a 12- to 18-inch machete from his pants and held it in a threatening overhand grip, police said.
The man took the cash and ran from the scene.
On Tuesday at Family Dollar, he took a bag of chips to the checkout area and pulled a knife from his pants pocket when the clerk opened the cash drawer, police said. He reached forward over the counter, striking the clerk in the hand with the knife, police said. The blade was 6 to 8 inches long, police said.
The man took cash and ran from the scene. The clerk suffered minor injuries, police said.
The suspect was described by the police as black, 45 to 50 years old, 5 feet 8 inches tall and about 175 pounds. He was wearing wire-rim glasses and was unshaven or had a light goatee. He also has a deep voice and decayed teeth. In the second robbery, he was wearing a blue shirt with a white collar and the No. 99 on the back.
“We need to find him and get him off the streets,” Holloway said.
Anyone with information was asked to call police at (727) 562-4242 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.