Gunman robs Brandon Publix dressed as painter

- A suspect who robbed a Publix grocery store on Monday wanted employees to think he was there to paint.

"He had on like a white painter's outfit with the booties, mask over his face, gloves, the whole nine yards," said Debbie Carter, spokesperson for the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office.

The only color he had in mind, however, was green. Deputies said the outfit was merely a disguise.

"He walked up to the service counter and asked to see a manager. When the manager got there, he brandished a gun and told him to open the safe," said Carter.

It happened at a Publix in Brandon just before 8:30 Monday morning. The store is undergoing renovations inside.

No one was hurt during the robbery, but the suspect did get away with cash. The getaway vehicle is said to be a mid-2000's silver Lexus.

"It is pretty extreme going in and robbing a grocery store," said Steve Hammock, a regular at the store.

It's at least the second robbery at a Bay area Publix this month. On May 6, a pair of masked men robbed a Publix in Plant City shortly after closing.

In that case, the suspects forced an employee into the money vault., took cash and then took off. HCSO said it's too early say whether the two are linked or not.  Both cases are yet to be solved.

"Anytime you have an individual brazen enough in broad daylight mid-morning to walk into a business and brandish a gun, there's always a chance that could escalate into something else," said Carter.  

Regarding its security, Publix tells FOX 13:

"We have several processes, systems and controls in place, and we're always looking for ways to improve, but for security purposes, we don't share those details."

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