Frequent customer nicknamed Pitbull robs convenience store in Lauderdale Lakes

Thief once inquired about employment at business, deputies say

By Amanda Batchelor - Senior Digital Editor, Jeff Weinsier - Investigative Reporter

LAUDERDALE LAKES, Fla. - The Broward Sheriff's Office is searching for a man who robbed a convenience store in Lauderdale Lakes.

The robbery was reported July 24 at the 19th Street Food Stop at 3851 N.W. 19th St.

Employees told deputies the robber is a frequent customer who goes by the nickname Pitbull.

According to authorities, Pitbull walked into the store last week, holding an unknown long object inside a plastic bag and robbed the business.

Surveillance video shows him jumping over the counter, where a clerk was standing.

The woman tried to get him to leave the restricted area, but the man pushed and shoved the woman before walking toward the cash register.

Deputies said the clerk followed the thief to the register and tussled with him in an attempt to stop him from getting any money, but he is seen in the video grabbing the money pouch that's below the cash register.

"He started hitting and pushing me and, I don't know what he hit me with, but right here was burning and stuff," the clerk, Morgan Lefevre, told Local 10 News reporter Jeff Weinsier as she pointed to her neck area. "It was red, it hurt and was swollen."

Authorities said Lefevre screamed for help as she followed the thief outside the store.

According to deputies, the clerk's boyfriend chased the robber down the street and struck the man with a rock. He then retreated back to the store as the robber was being met by a group of friends, authorities said.

Deputies said the robber was not only a frequent customer of the business, but had once even inquired about employment there.

Lefevre said the man comes to the store often to buy Black & Mild cigars. 

"He was friendly, but he was like a little mean at the same time," she told Weinsier about her past encounters with Pitbull.  

Anyone with information about the robber's identity is asked to call Detective Armando Enrique at 954-321-4270. Anonymous tips can be made by calling Broward Crime Stoppers at 954-493-8477. A reward of up to $3,000 is offered for anonymous tips that lead to an arrest.

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