RIVERVIEW (FOX 13) - A thief holds up a Riverview store, locks customers in the bathroom and fills up his bags with tens of thousands of dollars worth of iPhones. Now, officers want to get the suspect off the street before he strikes again.
It happened April 1, just after Radio Shack on Boyette Road closed at 9 p.m. The store is situated in a usually-busy shopping center, but since the store had closed and only two customers were left inside with an employee, a criminal with expensive taste in phones spotted an easy target.
Surveillance cameras captured every move.
A store employee is near the door. A couple is sitting by a desk waiting for help with their phones. In a matter of seconds, they go from customers to hostages.
The door opens and a man wearing all black walks in.
"He told them he had a weapon, but there was no weapon seen," said Debbie Carter, Public Information Officer for the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office. "You'll see in the video, when he first comes in, it looks like he has his hand in his pocket."
The suspect is seen forcing the employee toward the back of the store with his hands up. Though they haven't seen what's happening yet, the customers are about to come along, too.
"He escorts them to the back of the room, tells them to leave their phones, so that, he figures they can't call 911 or anything," Carter said.
The robber locks the customers and an employee in a bathroom. Then, he has the sales clerk take him to the iPhone stock.
The suspect fits a few phones inside a black, red and white backpack but runs out of room. He needs a bigger bag. The clerk hands him a trash bag which quickly fills up, too.
In a matter of minutes, the suspect steals 30 to 50 iPhones, worth between $18,000 to $25,000.
Investigators hope the next phone he picks up is inside the county jail, where there's at least one call he can make for free.
"Look at the clothing, look at everything," Carter urges people. "Maybe you know somebody who carries that type of backpack with them all the time, maybe you know somebody who walks that way."
Deputies are also looking for the car he was possibly riding in. It's a dark-colored Ford Fusion with tinted windows.
Police described the suspect as a slim, 6' 2" tall black male in his early twenties. He wore all black clothing and a red, black and white backpack at the time of the robbery.
Anybody with information about the suspect can call the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office at (813) 247-8200.