POINCIANA – The Osceola County Sheriff’s Office is asking for the public’s help in finding two suspects, including one who tried to rob a Poinciana bank ATM at gunpoint, and another believed to have exposed himself to two young girls at their elementary school.
The robbery at a Chase bank ATM happened on Monday, Jan. 9 at 11 p.m. Deputies got a call from a woman who said she had been robbed while trying to use the ATM that night.
Deputies responded to the Chase Bank at 875 Cypress Parkway in Poinciana and met with the victim, who told the officers she had been in her car when the suspect came out of the darkness to threaten her violently.
“According to the victim, an unknown suspect approached her when she was at the drive-through ATM and demanded money at gunpoint,” said Twis Lizasuain, public information officer for the Osceola County Sheriff’s office. “The victim screamed and the suspect fled on foot.”
Fortunately, Lizasuain said, the assailant did not use his gun, although the victim was shaken up and clearly scared by the time deputies got to her.
“She was not injured during the incident,” Lizasuain said.
The public is being asked to call the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office at 407-348-2222 if they have any information about this robbery. The suspect is described as a Hispanic man, about 5 feet 2 inches tall, weighing 130 pounds. He was wearing a black hooded sweatshirt with a white bandanna that covered his face.
Anyone with information on the case can also call Crimeline at 800-423-TIPS (8477), and calls made to Crimeline remain anonymous. Tips that lead to the felony arrest of suspects are eligible for cash rewards of up to $1,000.
Osceola detectives also need the public’s help identifying a man who may have exposed himself to two young girls near Highlands Elementary School in Kissimmee — an act he’s believed to have committed even while he had two small children in the back of his car.
The incident happened on Wednesday, Jan. 4, when Osceola deputies got a call about a man harassing students at the school. Deputies responded to the area of Carroll Street and Green Meadow Circle, and spoke with an adult woman who told them she had been approached by two young girls. The adult believed the girls were about seven or eight years old.
The young girls told the woman that a man had parked near them, and called them over to his van.
“The girls told the female a man in a car asked them to approach the vehicle, and when they did, he was exposing himself,” Lizasuain said. The girls quickly ran away from the car.
Although the adult woman called the sheriff’s office to report the incident, Lizasuain said “The girls left the area before deputies could speak with them.” The woman who reported the incident told deputies she had noticed a white SUV in the area that appeared to be suspicious.
On Jan. 9, deputies were able to find the two girls at Highlands Elementary, and they told deputies the man may have been stalking them.
“The girls told deputies a white SUV followed them as they were leaving school and then approached them as they were crossing Carroll Street,” Lizasuain said, adding that the driver “asked them to approach the car and when they did, they observed him touching himself inappropriately.”
The girls described the suspect as a white man, around 20-25 years old, with a thin build and blonde Mohawk haircut with black stripes. A boy and girl, about 3-4 years old, were also in the car with the suspect.
In addition to asking the public to call the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office if they know anything about this case, Lizasuain said her office is also urging parents to take time to talk to their kids, and let them know how dangerous it can be to have contact with people they don’t know.
“Osceola County Sheriff’s deputies want to encourage parents to talk to their children about strangers,” she said. “Remind your child that they should not take walks or rides with a stranger, and they should not accept gifts, candy or food from people that they do not know.”
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