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Sunday, Oct 19, 2014

Police: Radio Shack employee tries to rob his own store in Clearwater


Published:

Clearwater investigators did not have to go far to find a suspect in an attempted robbery at a Radio Shack because, hours later, the man showed up for work at the store.

Andre Trevor Puskas, 20, of 1740 Harbour Drive, Clearwater, is charged with one count of attempted robbery and is being held in the Pinellas County Jail on $150,000 bail.

“He didn’t plan this very well, nor was he prepared for the unknowns,” said John Brown, a Clearwater robbery detective.

Puskas, wearing a ski mask, entered the store at U.S. 19 and Sunset Point Road about 9:30 a.m. Wednesday and showed a female employee that he had a stun gun in his waistband, police said. She dropped to the floor, but he squirted her in the eyes with pepper spray.

The employee got up to run, and felt the stun gun pressed against her back, but it apparently misfired and struck the hand of Puskas instead, police said. She got out and went to an adjacent business.

Puskas tried to flee out the back door, but it was locked and he didn’t have a key, so he ran out the front and then around to the rear of the store, where he threw his ski mask in a Dumpster.

Later, the store employee said it was odd that the man did not speak, and she remembered he was large.

“A 6-foot-2, 280-pound guy is not something you come across every day,” Brown said.

That afternoon, Puskas showed up for his shift at the store, where investigators were waiting.

“He walked in like nothing had happened,” Brown said.

Puskas later admitted to detectives that he tried to rob the store, where he has worked since October, police said. He told investigators he needed money for car insurance and his cell phone bill. The stun gun and pepper spray were found in his car.

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