Man robbed of $6K outside Town 'n' Country Publix

- A 65-year-old man was robbed of $6,000 he had just taken out of the bank, and deputies are trying to track down the 20-something suspect.

Eddie Wong says he stopped by the Wells Fargo on West Hillsborough Ave. to get cash before an upcoming trip to New York. He had just taken out money when a guy in his 20s knocked him to the concrete and snatched his money right out of his pocket.

Wong said he wanted to pay his bills before visiting his wife, who's having medical procedure. 

"The cashier counted out the money to me. I counted it back one more time, and then I put it in the envelope, and I walked out," Wong told FOX 13 News. 

He took a short drive down to Publix for groceries, but he didn't realize he was being watched. Before Wong could walk into the store, he says a man grabbed him.

"He just grabbed for my pocket; this pocket, where the money was. I tried to push him off," Wong recalled. 

They both went tumbling to the ground. Store surveillance video shows customers looking on in shock as Wong yelled for help. He’s covered in cuts and bruises from the incident Thursday morning. 

The suspect's get-away driver picked him up and the two were seen speeding out of the parking lot. 

Detectives are now searching for the black Volkswagen CC, with tinted windows. They hope someone in the parking lot full of people got a good look at them. 

"A lot of these witnesses could have captured partial tag numbers that can truly help us identify who the people are driving this vehicle," explained Chris Freeman with the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office.

"These types of criminals, I consider them cowards. They target elderly folks, people they think are vulnerable, and that's who they're going after."

"I'm 65. I still work. I feel that anybody that's younger than me should be working for their money," Wong said.

Despite the bruises, you can't tell Wong is in pain. He says his biggest fear is telling his wife he lost the money. 

"She hollers just as loud from New York as she does here, and I'm going to get mine tonight," Wong said with a smile.

Hillsborough deputies say you should always be aware of your surroundings, and never carry large amounts of cash, even in broad daylight.

Anyone with information on this robbery should call the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office.

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