DAVENPORT (FOX 13) - A guy wanted in Pasco County is now wanted in Polk as well - in connection with scamming a number of businesses out of small amounts of cash.
Robert Hyers is accused in Pasco County of posing as a tow truck driver and telling workers they owe him cash. Now, deputies in Polk Co. say he has a new "profession," but his game hasn't changed.
"Robert is a thief. His momma knows he is a thief, his daddy knows he is a thief, and now the community knows he is a thief," commented Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd.
Polk Co. detectives say Hyers' latest target was Vapin Crazy on U.S. 27 in Davenport.
"He thinks he has the system figured out," said Judd. "He thinks, 'As long as I keep it to small amounts of money, they probably won't report me. If they do, the cops won't look for me.'"
Deputies say Hyers called the owner of Vapin Crazy and said he was "Mitch," the owner of a cleaning products business in the same shopping center. The caller said he was tied up in traffic and asked the owner of the vape shop to pay a delivery guy $63. He promised to square up when he got there.
The owner's son, Chris Gross, paid Hyers without question.
"It was like he knew stuff," said Gross. "Like he had done research before he had even got here."
Gross felt comfortable with him, so he handed over the cash. Detectives say Hyers tried a similar con with the employees of the Subway next door, but they told him to take a walk.
Hyers is also wanted for posing as a tow truck operator and asking the employees of at least four businesses to pay an outstanding bill.
Law enforcement says Hyers has a long criminal record and once did 10 years in prison. They are also looking for his girlfriend, Angela Almodovar.