[PHOTO CREDIT: Lake County Sheriff’s Office]
[Original Publish Date: 12/13/19]
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TAVARES, Florida — Two armed robbers are in custody and at least one more is on the loose following the robbery of an internet café early Friday morning, according to an incident report.
Lake County Sheriff’s deputies responded to Joy’s, 11203 West Burleigh Boulevard, Tavares, near the intersection of County Road 473 for a call of an armed robbery, just before 3:30 a.m. Friday.
A security guard told deputies a black male rang the buzzer to gain entry to the building. The security guard opened the door and started to scan the man with a metal-detecting wand when a second black male put a gun in the security guard’s face. The security guard struggled with the man over the gun and two other black males joined and wrestled him to the ground. They handcuffed the security guard and took his Glock 17 and two loaded magazines. One of the robbers put the gun to the back of the guard’s head and the other men began to rob the patrons, according to the report.
The robbers took wallets, cash and phones from the patrons and when one victim tried to escape, the suspects pointed a gun at him and said, “Sit you[r] (expletive) down!” Another suspect then yelled, “You let the (expletive) get away with the money!” They took money from the registers, robbed several other patrons and fled the building.
It’s unclear how many men robbed the five patrons, some victims told deputies there were three men and others said four men.
A supervisor was able to escape the building and call law enforcement while the men were robbing the patrons and registers. When the men fled outside, one of them approached the supervisor with a gun and said, “This (expletive) got the money.” She stopped and another robber said, “She’s on the phone with the police,” and all the men fled.
A witness told deputies his video surveillance system picked up a dark-colored SUV pulling into the parking lot of Joy’s and leaving. About 10 minutes later, it returned and four black males exited the vehicle. The driver reentered the vehicle and the others went inside. A short time later they ran out of Joy’s and split up, the witness said. Two ran east on West Burleigh Boulevard and one ran north of the vehicle and fled the area.
LCSO set up a perimeter in the area, along with assistance from Tavares Police Department and Leesburg Police Department, and eventually located Steve Anfernee Manor, 21 of Eustis and Zakee Durmell Grahai, 26, of Tavares. Manor was charged with five counts of robbery with a firearm, seven counts of aggravated assault with a firearm, four counts of petit theft and one count of grand theft of a firearm. He is being held at the Lake County Jail on $291,000 bond. Grahai was charged with five counts of robbery with a firearm, seven counts of aggravated assault with a firearm, four counts of petit theft and one count of grand theft of a firearm. He is being held at the Lake County Jail on $270,000 bond. This was Grahai’s second arrest in three days; on Tuesday he was arrested for battery on a pregnant female. He was out on bond on that charge.
Our Editor-in-Chief, Marilyn M. Aciego, began writing for Lake Legal News in 2010. In addition, she has made more than two dozen appearances on live national television, including Nancy Grace and the Greta Van Susteren show, along with her appearance on Evil Twins. Contact her with breaking news, tips, and feedback by sending an e-mail to 352Tips@gmail.com. You can also contact us on our Facebook page — and make sure you “Like” and “Follow us” there. [PHOTO CREDIT: Bonnie Whicher]