Armed robbery suspect caught after leaving wallet behind

Tony McGriff

LAKELAND, Fla. (WFLA) – A 41-year-old career criminal with an extensive criminal history is back behind bars.

Tony McGriff is facing a variety of charges including armed robbery.

According to a Polk County Sheriff’s Office report the suspect entered the Marathon Gas station in the 600 block of North Wabash Ave. in Lakeland just after 10 pm Friday night. Investigators say McGriff needed some money for drugs.

He walked up to the counter, placed his wallet and an oatmeal crème pie in front of the clerk and demanded cash. McGriff stuck a flashlight under his shirt and pointed it at the store employee claiming it was a gun.

The clerk handed over an undisclosed amount of cash and McGriff fled the store on foot. Unfortunately for the suspect he forgot one very important item – his wallet with his personal identification was left on the counter.

Deputies eventually caught up with McGriff but not before he spent most of the money he took on drugs. What he had left along with the flashlight was confiscated.

The suspect has been in and out of jail most of his adult life. McGriff has served two stints in state prison for convictions out of Polk on grand theft auto, armed robbery and drug possession charges.

He is currently in the Polk County Jail where he is being held without bond.

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