Tipped that a ring of outlet-mall robbers targeting shops in the Orlando area were about to hit the Ellenton Outlet Mall on Saturday night, Manatee County sheriff’s deputies were waiting in the parking lot and arrested six suspects right after a Nike shop was robbed.
Six Orlando men were charged with armed robbery after two went into the shop at closing time, clubbed one clerk and robbed a safe of an undisclosed amount of money, deputies said. No shots were fired and no one was seriously injured.
Deputies said the men were suspected in several armed robberies in outlet malls in the Orlando area. Deputies received information the ring may be getting ready to rob the Ellenton Outlet Mall at closing time Saturday and they set up surveillance in the parking lot and waited.
Around 9:30 p.m. Saturday, the suspects were spotted at the mall and back-up units were called in, deputies said.
Two men, identified as Kelsey Coffee, 26, and Keenan Davis, 26, went into the Nike shop just as it was closing and forced the two employees back inside, deputies said. Other members of the ring remained in the car or acted as lookouts, deputies said.
The clerks were secured with zip ties and the safe was opened. The thieves stuffed cash into bags they brought with them and they left the store, heading for their waiting getaway car, which had pulled up to the curb, deputies said.
Deputies swarmed and arrested Coffee and Davis after a short foot chase. The other four, Moses Patterson, 22; Jamal Tillman, 22; Danoris Scott, 23; and Tiandre Rogers, 23, were arrested without incident, deputies said. A shotgun and handgun were recovered from the vehicle. The bags of cash also were collected by deputies.
Additional charges of false imprisonment were lodged against Coffee and Davis, deputies said.