Search continues for man who robbed busy Publix store on Hoffner Avenue



ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. - Deputies continue to search for a man who robbed a busy Publix store in the middle of the afternoon Wednesday on Hoffner Avenue near Conway Road

Investigators said the robber walked into the store about 4 p.m. while the store was packed with shoppers and employees.

Deputies said the man acted like a customer and walked up to the register with items as though he was going to pay for them but instead showed the clerk a gun and demanded money.

The clerk complied and the man left the store with an undisclosed amount of cash.

“It’s scary because this is part of our community so to think that this could happen to me,” said Publix shopper Kristin Gatlin.

The man was captured on surveillance video entering the Publix, but no arrests have yet been made.

 “That’s pretty desperate that he doesn’t care who, or what’s, going on,” said Publix shopper Jessica Fama.

Detectives don't know if the man jumped into a waiting car or fled on foot because the parking lot was packed at the time of the robbery.

Channel 9 reached out to Publix and asked if they had plans to beef up security.

Publix responded, saying, "While safety and security of our customers and associates is paramount, this incident is isolated. We will continue working closely with law enforcement to assist with the ongoing investigation."

Publix did not say whether they plan to increase security at any of their stores.