BROOKSVILLE - Hernando County deputies have arrested a man they say acknowledged trying to rob two gasoline stations in November.
"This is a stick up," Steven Ray Willis told a employee at a Hess station at 18365 Cortez Blvd. on Nov. 25 after asking for a pack of cigarettes, sheriff's officials said.
The employee then had a medical episode and couldn't breathe, sheriff's officials reported. Willis said he would harm her if she didn't give him money, authorities said; the clerk screamed she was being robbed when a customer entered the gas station, and Willis fled.
Later that day Willis went into a Hess station at 1950 E. Jefferson St. in Brooksville and told the clerk, "This is a stick up," deputies reported. When the employee didn't hand over money, officials said, Willis tried to buy a pack of cigarettes with a debit card that was declined, then left.
Investigators watched video surveillance from both gas stations, and Willis was identified as a suspect.
The 49-year-old Brooksville man was arrested Wednesday on two charges of robbery (no firearm or weapon), as well as violating his probation for driving with a suspended license.
He was being held in jail without bail.
Court records show Willis has been convicted of drunken driving and driving with a suspended license in Hernando County.