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Culprit 'very forgiving' during Largo store robbery

The robber had a gun, but the manager still feels lucky - it could have been worse.

By JACOB H. FRIES
Published March 17, 2007


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LARGO - He hid in a back stockroom while the discount store closed up Sunday night.

He wore camouflage pants, a black turtleneck, a black skullcap and a blue bandana over his face. In his hand, he had a black semi-automatic handgun.

It was about 7:30 p.m. The Family Dollar store at 3665 East Bay Drive had closed about 30 minutes earlier, Pinellas County sheriff's officials say. Store manager Debbie Pressnall, 46, and another female employee were still inside.

The man - early to mid 20s, 5 feet 10, about 180 pounds - followed them to Pressnall's office, authorities and Pressnall said. He ordered the women to the floor, then told Pressnall to open the safe.

She did, handing over cash and store receipts. The man was gone after what felt like 45 seconds, according to Pressnall.

"It was very quick, very forgiving," she said Monday.

Forgiving?

"Not a bad word spoken, not a push, a shove, not anything. It could have been a whole lot different. We're lucky."

Pressnall said that it was her first robbery at the store, but the ninth in her career in retail. Old hat, she said. Do what they say and you live. Besides, she added, there's karma.

"What goes around is going to come around - twofold - and it's going to get you in the butt," she said.

Pressnall opened the store on time Monday morning, welcoming new customers at 9 a.m.

Fast Facts:

To help

Anyone with information about this armed robbery is asked to call sheriff's Detective Jeremy Nygren at 582-6200 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-873-8477.

[Last modified March 17, 2007, 00:26:07]


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