Armed robbers hold up Sarasota lounge

- Memories Lounge on U.S 41 in Sarasota is a place where people come to kick back and unwind.

"Generally there a lot of people in this neighborhood that come to this bar specifically. It's the only little hole-in-the-wall bar in this area," said Adriana Walters.

Regulars like Adriana Walters are on edge after two men stormed into the bar, armed and demanding money.

"It's terrifying especially to think that they are still out there," she said.

Surveillance cameras recorded Sunday morning around 1:30 as the men dressed in dark clothing and hoodies ran across the parking lot and into the bar. One carried a shotgun and the other a rifle.

"I constantly am thinking, 'Is there anything I could have done at the time?' Yes, there is, but it would have put people in harm's way and that's the last thing we want to do," said Stephen Acker.

As one of the robbers disappears out of camera frame, the other pushes his way to the bar, where he confronts the bartender and forces him toward the cash register.

Acker, one of the bar's owners, said his bartender quietly told him what was happening.

"It happened so quickly. I didn't have time to panic. I looked down and see the gun and it's a matter if all he wants is money take the money. We don't want anyone hurt," he said.

In fact, with the music blaring patrons barely even noticed. Most just continued what they were doing.

"There were people asking for drinks as it was going on," said Acker.

The robbers are seen running out the door and back across the parking lot where they disappeared with the cash, two bottles of liquor and the weapons they brought with them.

"They looked more scared than anything else. Lets face it anyone that uses guns to steal a couple hundred bucks will be scared because they're not that bright," said Acker.

Anyone with information on the case is asked to call Detective Dustin Luciano at 941-363-5827 or leave an anonymous tip with Crime Stoppers by calling 941-366-TIPS or online at www.sarasotacrimestoppers.com.

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