Police Hunt: Man Robs 2 Agents at Gunpoint

June 5, 2015

Two female real estate agents in St. Petersburg, Fla., were held at gunpoint by a man during showings in two separate incidences within an hour of one another. Police continue to search for a suspect.

In one incident, the real estate agent says she was showing a home to a man who was wearing a straw hat when he pulled out a handgun and then bound her with zip ties. The man called the agent's husband and demanded a ransom, police say. He then left the house and, shortly after, reportedly pointed a gun at another real estate agent, whom he also then robbed.

"Neither one of them was injured, although they were pretty shaken up, as you can imagine," says St. Petersburg police spokeswoman Yolanda Fernandez.

Police quickly contacted the REALTOR® associations for help in alarming members about the attacks.

The man "has been calling REALTORS® asking to see properties,'' a bulletin from the Pinellas REALTORS®' organization read. The man has used the name "Robert Evans" and the bulletin also lists a phone number he has called from. Police are asking for real estate professionals' assistance in catching the man, saying in their alerts that if any agent is contacted by "Robert Evans" or the phone number provided to arrange a meeting with him and then contact the police department immediately. The bulletin warns: "DO NOT GO TO THE PROPERTY THAT HE IS REQUESTING TO SEE.''

"We have no indication if he used his real name or a made-up name," Fernandez says. The fact that this man targeted real estate agents "twice within an hour – and he's armed – is a concern," she adds.

Source: "St. Petersburg Police Search for Man Who Held Two Real Estate Agents at Gunpoint," Tampa Bay Times (June 3, 2015)