FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Police and federal authorities are investigating after a Fort Lauderdale smoke shop was robbed twice by the same man in a span of less than a month.
Fort Lauderdale police Detective Tracy Figone said the armed robberies occurred June 28 and July 16 at the Smoke House on Sunrise Boulevard.
Figone said the man covered his face with sunglasses, a hat and a hooded sweatshirt during the first robbery. She said he wore a black hooded sweatshirt and a blue face mask during the second robbery.
Both times, the man pointed a handgun at the employee and demanded that he open the cash register.
Richard Dill, a customer at the smoke shop, said the people who work there asked him to step up and keep the business safe.
"I'm actually their security here," Dill told Local 10 News reporter Madeleine Wright. "I'm the one -- and I've been trained very well -- to make sure that someone (who) comes in with a gun, I'll take it out of their hand."
The cashier said the man stole $700 during the first robbery and $70 the second time.
"We're not going to let that happen again," Dill said.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives believes information related to the robberies is critical to the investigation and is offering a $2,500 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the gunman.
Anyone with information is asked to call Fort Lauderdale police detectives at 954-828-5676 or the ATF at 786-717-2261.