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Police: Central Florida man arrested ‘moments’ after robbing Ocala gas station

OCALA, Fla. — An armed robbery of a gas station in Ocala quickly ended with an arrest, according to the police department.

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Ocala police officers were called to the Marathon gas station on E. Silver Springs Blvd. just before 3 a.m. Monday for reports of a robbery.

The clerk told police the robber came into the store and pretended to make a cash purchase for cigarettes, but pointed a gun at him as the cash register was opened.

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The clerk emptied the cash from the register into a bag for the suspect, later identified as 25-year-old Travis Givens, who then ran from the store on foot. The clerk said Givens also demanded his personal cell phone and the store’s landline phone.

Police say the the clerk gave them a detailed description of Givens, down to the dark grey hooded sweatshirt he was wearing.

Mere “moments” after the robbery occurred, an Ocala police officer who was headed to the scene reportedly saw two people walking on NE 36th Ave. and noticed one of them was wearing a hooded sweatshirt matching the description given by the store clerk.

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According to the police department, the officer approached the two people in her patrol vehicle, but the person matching the description of the robbery suspect immediately ran into a wooded area nearby.

An Ocala Police Department K-9 unit responded to the scene and began tracking givens, leading to the discovery of a plastic bag containing cash, a cellular phone, and a portable landline phone, as described by the gas station clerk after the armed robbery.

According to police, the K-9 track then led to a grey hooded sweatshirt with a small starter pistol tucked in the front pocket.

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As officers on scene continued to track Givens, Ocala Police Department dispatchers answered a call from a resident reporting that they saw a man jump over their fence before running into another set of woods. Police turned their to that area where they ultimately found Givens hiding in a bush.

Givens was booked into the Marion County jail Monday on charges that include armed robbery, grand theft, and aggravated assault with a weapon. He’s being held on no bond.

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