A 34-year-old woman was arrested over the weekend in connection with an armed robbery that occurred at a Sunoco gas station in Ocala.
On Saturday, September 23, Marion County Sheriff’s Office deputies responded to the Sunoco gas station located at 9470 S U.S. Highway 441 in Ocala in reference to a robbery. Several witnesses had called 911 at around 8 a.m. to report that a white female suspect had entered the convenience store while brandishing a firearm, according to the arrest report.
The report stated that an interview was conducted with a female employee/victim who advised that she had stepped in front of the store to smoke a cigarette during a “lull period” with no customers. While smoking a cigarette, she stated that a white woman came up behind her, put a firearm in her face, and ordered her inside the store.
The victim advised that the robbery suspect demanded “all the cash” from the register. Shortly after the victim opened one of the cash registers, the suspect allegedly “got impatient” and grabbed a large sum of cash from the register consisting of $5, $10, and $20 bills, according to the victim’s statement.
After the robbery, the victim advised that the suspect exited the front door of the store and fled southbound on foot. A male customer/witness pulled into the parking lot at the time of the robbery and yelled at the suspect that he was calling law enforcement, according to the report.
The victim described the suspect as a skinny white female with reddish brown auburn hair, and she was carrying a black 9mm pistol. The victim added that the suspect was wearing light colored cargo pants that were “too big for her,” a maroon long sleeve pullover sweater, latex gloves, and pantyhose that covered her face, according to the report.
An MCSO corporal reviewed the store’s video surveillance footage and noted in the report that the incident was just as the victim had described. On the suspect’s right wrist, the corporal observed a large black tattoo.
At the time of the robbery, the male customer/witness informed the sheriff’s office that the suspect ran out of the store and headed westbound on SE 95th Street. The witness followed the suspect to a nearby path leading to an abandoned home. While on the phone with 911, the operator instructed the witness not to follow the suspect any further, and the witness turned around and returned to the store to check on the victim, according to the report.
The report stated that the witness left the store approximately 45 minutes later and headed home. When the witness arrived at his residence in the 3800 block of SE 95th Street, he observed the suspect in front of his home. He informed the sheriff’s office that the suspect was “digging in the grass” by his gate, and he was able to flag down approaching deputies to advise them of the suspect’s location.
According to the report, a pair of pantyhose matching the description provided by the victim were found off SE 95th Street. In addition, a maroon pullover shirt, light colored cargo pants, a white latex glove, and a black gun holster were recovered “in succession on a manmade path leading from the store to an abandoned house.”
Less than an hour after the robbery had occurred, a woman identified as Courtney Patrice Carpenter was located in the 3800 block of SE 95th Street, approximately 0.3 miles from the incident location, according to the report.
Several deputies made contact with Carpenter, and approximately $400 in cash (in denominations of $5, $10, and $20) was found up her shirt sleeves. She was transported to MCSO headquarters for an interview.
After being read her Miranda rights, Carpenter stated that she woke up earlier in the morning inside the abandoned house near the incident location, and she claimed that she found a large sum of cash on the ground while walking outside. She denied any involvement in the robbery, according to the report.
Carpenter further claimed that she did not own a firearm, and she reiterated that she “only found the money abandoned on the side of the road.” The report stated that an MCSO corporal observed a dark black tattoo on Carpenter’s wrist that appeared to match the tattoo seen on the surveillance footage from the gas station.
Carpenter was arrested and transported to Marion County Jail where she is currently being held on $50,000 bond. She is facing a felony charge for robbery with a firearm.
A court date has been scheduled at 9 a.m. on Tuesday, October 24, according to jail records.