That’s because the suspect, 20-year-old Andre Trevor Puskas, works there. And he showed up for his shift a little more than six hours after the robbery attempt.
During the botched robbery, the ski mask-wearing, would-be robber used pepper spray on an employee. He also tried to shoot her with a stun gun but ended shooting himself in the hand.
“He didn’t plan this very well, nor was he prepared for the unknowns,” said John Brown, a Clearwater Police robbery detective.
The suspect entered the store a little after 9:30 a.m. and showed the victim that he had a stun gun tucked in his waistband. She dropped to the floor, butwhen she moved, he sprayed her in the eyes with pepper spray. She got up and
ran out the front door to an adjacent business. She felt the stun gun pressed against her back as she tried to get away, but it apparently misfired and got the suspect’s hand instead.
Puskas tried to get out the back door, but it was locked and he didn’t have a key for it. So he, too, had to run out the front door and ran around to the rear of the store, where he dumped his navy blue ski mask in a Dumpster there.
The store employee thought it was strange that the suspect never said a word to her, almost like he did not want her to hear his voice. She also took note of his large physical description – 6 feet 2 inches tall and 280 pounds.
“A 6-foot-2, 280-pound guy is not something you come across every day,” Detective Brown said.
Detectives had a hunch they would find their man later when 4 o’clock rolled around. The suspect was a few minutes late because of the rain, but showed up dutifully for his shift.
“He walked in like nothing had happened,” Detective Brown said.
Puskas later admitted to detectives that he tried to rob the store, where he has worked just since October of last year. He said he needed money to pay for car insurance and his cell phone bill. The stun gun and pepper spray also were recovered in his car.
He remains held in the Pinellas County Jail on a count of attempted robbery on $150,000 bail.