Attempted robber waved gun around, but left empty-handed, deputies say

Detectives in Hardee County said they are searching for an attempted robber, who walked into a store waving a gun around.

The crime occurred at the Ranchito Store, located at 3320 Main Street in Zolfo Springs. Around 5:45 a.m. Thursday, detective said a male suspect entered the store wearing a red, faded hooded sweater and black, tight-fitted sweat pants, along with gray shoes. 

The Hardee County Sheriff’s Office released surveillance video showing the suspect enter the store and jump onto the counter. He points his gun at an employee a few times before fleeing. The suspect’s face was covered with a white bandana. 

Detectives said there were no injuries. Anyone with information on the suspect’s identity is asked to call the Hardee County Sheriff’s Office at 863-773-4144. Anonymous tips can be submitted to Heartland Crime Stoppers at 1-800-226-8477 or online at