Date: March 22, 2002 "For Immediate Release"
To: News Media
From: Sheriff Lawrence W. Crow, Jr.
Media Contact:

Aaron Flint, (863) 534-6377 or 502-8262 pager

Angel Food Store Robbery; Manager Dead, Wife Injured

At 10:43 a.m. toady (Mar. 22, 2002), Polk County Sheriff's deputies responded to a robbery at the Angel Food Store located at 1401 Hwy. 92 W. in Auburndale. 

During the robbery, both the manager, Chaiman Patel, DOB 5/1/48, of Lakeland, and his wife, Hansa Patel, DOB 9/20/47, were shot multiple times.  Chaiman Patel was pronounced dead at the scene and his wife was transported to Lakeland Regional Medical Center where she received treatment for non life threatening injuries.

At approximately 10:40 a.m. a black male described to be in his 20's,with a slender build, wearing a black “do rag” or bandana, black cargo style pants and a black long sleeve shirt, entered the Angel Food Store.  The suspect, who was armed with a handgun, approached the manager and his wife at the counter and demanded money.  Chaiman and Hansa Patel complied with the suspect's demands, but were shot  multiple times.  After shooting both victims, the suspect fled from the scene on foot with an undisclosed amount of money.

PCSO helicopters, K-9 units, detectives, patrol deputies, and FHP searched a 1 to 2 mile radius surrounding the store following the shooting, but were unable to apprehend the suspect. 

Anyone with information concerning the whereabouts of the suspect is asked to contact Polk County Crime Stoppers at 1-800-226-TIPS (8477).  Callers can remain completely anonymous and be eligible for up to a $2000 reward.


Distribution: Undersheriff, Division Commanders, Communications, News Media

A text only version of this release is also available.

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