Screaming customers scare off armed bandit at Ocala discount store

Marion County sheriff’s deputies scrambled to an Ocala discount store late Sunday night after they received a report of a robbery.

An employee at the Dollar General store, located at 896 Marion Oaks Manor, said he had been cleaning in the back of the building when he heard the cashier scream like she’d been hurt. He said he went to the counter to check on her and encountered the bandit pointing a handgun at the woman, a Marion County sheriff’s report says.

The employee said the robber brought them both to the front counter and asked how much money was in the safe. He answered the thief and started handing him money while the gun was pointed at him, the report says.

The employee said some regular customers entered the store and started yelling. The bandit then exited the store and ran out into the parking lot and the employee said he feared for his life during the ordeal, the report says.

After the other employee gave her account of what happened, multiple deputies responded to the area and set up a perimeter in an attempt to locate the thief. The sheriff’s office’s Major Crimes Division was notified and a detective responded to the scene, the report says.