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They demanded to know where her boss was. Gas station clerk hangs tough, cops say

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A Florida Keys gas station clerk withstood threats of violence and kidnapping while two men demanded cash from the store’s register Wednesday night because they said her manager owed them money, according to the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office.

Sheriff’s office detectives are looking for the men, who walked into the Chevron station at mile marker 106 in Key Largo around 7:50 p.m. insisting on speaking to the manager, according to the sheriff’s office. They were not armed, said sheriff’s office spokesman Adam Linhardt.

The clerk, who the sheriff’s office did not identify, told the men the manager was not at the store. They responded that he owed them money and they demanded the cash in the register drawer. The clerk refused to hand it over.

Linhardt said one of the men told her that if she didn’t give them the cash, they would kidnap her and the manager’s children. Still, she refused to give it to them, according to sheriff’s office.

The men then walked to the back of the store to the manager’s office and knocked on the door. When no one answered, they left the store and drove away south on U.S. 1 in a white van adorned with several “Dirty Hooker” bumper stickers, Linhardt said.

Deputies looked at security camera footage to get a description of the suspects. Linhardt said one man was between five foot five inches and five foot eight, with a stocky build, dirty blonde hair and wearing a navy blue T-shirt and blue jeans. Cops describe his partner as being around five foot eight inches tall, with a beard, wearing a black hat, a long-sleave black T-shirt and jeans.

The footage was not immediately available for release, Linhardt said.

Anyone with information about the suspects is asked to call Detective Ian Barnett at 305-852-3211.

“Callers who wish to remain anonymous can call Crime Stoppers at 1-866-471-8477. Tipsters can remain anonymous and if a tip leads to an arrest in the case, the caller may be eligible for a cash reward. Tips may also be submitted online at www.floridakeyscrimestoppers.com or via a text message using the smartphone app called P3 Phone. Tips can also be submitted via social media such as Facebook, Instagram or Twitter using the @CrimeStoppers305 hashtag.”

David Goodhue covers the Florida Keys and South Florida for FLKeysNews.com and the Miami Herald. Before joining the Herald, he covered Congress, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Energy in Washington, D.C. He is a graduate of the University of Delaware.
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