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The 5 Weirdest Robbery Charges in Florida

On Behalf of | Jan 30, 2020 | Criminal Defense

If you’ve ever scrolled through a social media wall, you’ve likely seen the ‘Florida man’ posts that are highly popular showcasing some seriously weird Florida news headlines. Although many of them have been proven to be hoaxes just for a laugh, there are still many strange crimes that happen in Florida each and every day.

With this said, as a local Florida law firm serving Clay County and beyond, we at Finnell, McGuinness, Nezami & Andux, P.A., have compiled five of the weirdest robbery charges ever in Florida for your viewing pleasure. Enjoy, and be sure to give us a call if you ever find yourself in any of these situations!

  1. ATM Robbery Goes ‘up in Flames’

On June 4th, 2019, the Okaloosa Sheriff’s Department  regarding a failed robbery attempt at a local ATM machine. The individuals involved approached the machine with a crowbar and a blowtorch only to then weld the machine shut rather than break it open.

After discovering their blunder, the two would-be robbers made a quick escape from the scene of the crime and were later identified and arrested by local authorities.

  1. Wendy’s Very own ‘Hamburglar’

Although a blowtorch robbery is pretty outlandish, could you imagine stopping to make a burger during a robbery? Well, for one Florida man, the idea of a fresh Wendy’s burger mid-robbery was enough to have him at the grill and directly in front of the security camera.

34-year-old Patrick Benson threw two rocks through the window of a local Wendy’s, entered through the broken window, packed up all he could, and made himself a burger before fleeing the scene of the crime. However, the weirdest part about this particular case wasn’t even the crime itself but the fact that this was not the first time the individual had broken into a restaurant and made himself dinner before robbing the location. Talk about a repeat offender!

  1. Finger Guns Gone Wrong

Being held at gunpoint during a robbery can be nerve-wracking—but, what if the gun was nothing more than a hand? At one Gainesville Chinese restaurant, that’s exactly what happened.

Steven Michael Berlin, a local resident, was dining at Szechuan Palace on January 28th of 2019 when a staff member at the restaurant claimed the man pointed his hand at her as if it were a gun. Fearing for her safety and the possibility of a real weapon being concealed, the woman then emptied the cash register for the man before he left and she was able to call the local authorities.

Berlin was found three miles down the road where he openly confessed to the robbery and was arrested on sight. Although this may sound absurd, many individuals complete full robberies at ‘hand point’ which is a pretty crazy case to come across.

  1. The Most Ambitious Work Excuse Ever

Have you ever hated a job so much you would do absolutely anything to get out of going there? Would that hatred even lead you to  ? Although you may be shaking your head right now, for one Florida man, working at Hardee’s was painful enough to concoct an elaborate robbery farce just to get out of his subsequent morning shift.

On March 27th of 2019, 32-year-old Brian Anderson of Dundee called the emergency line to report a robbery that had just been committed at his work. The robbery included his necklace, money, and phone and was supposedly perpetrated by two men that then escaped in their car.

However, after police arrived at the scene, it was found that Anderson had made up the entire robbery to get out of his morning shift at work. Unfortunately, his little lie cost him more than just his morning shift as he was later charged with misusing the 911 system and knowingly giving false information to law enforcement.

  1. Tainted Love

Love is a very complicated thing and, for many people across the globe, this means resorting to dating apps such as Tinder or Plenty of Fish for potential matches. However, for 31-year-old Tavares Wilson, these matches were actually his newest victims.

Wilson began using various online dating applications to lure his dates to apartment complexes where he would then confront them with a gun or knife and rob them. Five robberies were reported, and countless more were unreported during the last six months but, fortunately, Wilson was arrested and charged for his crimes on July 12th. Not only did Wilson get charged for the robberies, but the individual also had illegal drugs and a firearm on him when they arrested him. Talk about a blind date gone wrong!

If you or a loved one is facing a robbery charge—outlandish or not—give us a call today at 904-717-7747, and we will be sure to consult with you to create the best case possible!