Photo cutline: The so called “Seffner Bandit,” Andre King, 32, of Seffner is charged with at least eight counts of armed robbery. King is suspect in at least 21 serial armed robberies that have occurred in the Seffner area in the last two years.
After almost two years of robbing stores and businesses, in the Eastern part of Hillsborough County, primarily within the Seffner/Dover/Plant City areas, but as far south as Ruskin, the so called “Seffner Bandit” and suspect of at least 21 armed robberies has been caught.
Seffner resident Andre King, 32, reached the end of his crusade of terrorizing local business owners by using a black semi-automatic handgun and in the most recent cases a stainless steel semi-automatic handgun, targeting several of the same businesses multiple times.
A reward of $6,000 had been offered for information leading to King’s arrest, who met his match on Tuesday, December 13, as he tried to rob the Stop-n-Save Food Store at 4801 Clewis Ave in Seffner.
After walking into the store King revealed his gun, but the clerk, whose son saw King approaching the store with a gun told his father, who immediately called 911 and anticipating a confrontation also drew his own gun, deputies said.
Deputies quickly arrived and spotted the suspect running from the scene and get in a Honda Accord. Deputies tried to pull the car over but the suspects refused to stop, deputies said.
A chase ensued and continued for approximately 10 minutes until the man crashed into a concrete power pole just north of State Road 60 on Lakewood Drive in Brandon.
King was then taken to Tampa General Hospital where he was treated for non-life threatening injuries due to the earlier crash.
There were no other damage or injuries other than the suspect’s injuries.
Fortunately the King did not hurt anyone, but detectives were concerned with the robberies escalating to that point.
“The department was certainly hoping to catch the suspect before someone got hurt,” said Major Donna Lusczynski, with the Hillsborough County Sheriff Office Criminal Investigation Division.
In an earlier press conference HCSO Sergeant Mike Hurley described the case as “unique” and “very frustrating” as the suspect had no set pattern, and with his face and hands covered detectives were without any solid lead.
The investigation is now continuing with additional charges pending, said sheriff’s department spokesman Larry McKinnon.
For more information please visit www.hcso.tampa.fl.us.