Anthony Robinson, 28, was the night clerk at the Microtel on Old Kings Road, near Palm Coast Parkway, early Monday morning. Around 3 a.m., about the time when he was beginning a shift audit, Robinson heard a laundry machine rattling, so he walked out of the side office door and directly across the hall to repair it. While working on the machine, he heard what sounded like the front lobby door opening and closing. It scrapes as it does so.
No one called out for assistance. Robinson didn’t think anything of it: the motel was full of guests from Biketoberfest. It wouldn’t be unusual for a guest to be returning to the hotel (or leaving it) late. After working on the laundry machine for about 10 minutes, Robinson walked back toward the office and opened the side door. That’s when a man who’d been on the other side of the door grabbed him, pointed a black, semi-automatic gun at his face and said: “Don’t look at me or I’ll kill you. This is a stick-up robbery. Just cooperate.”
The Flagler County Sheriff’s report on the incident is heavily redacted (it’s an active investigation, so some of the information may be withheld), so the sequence of events isn’t entirely clear. But soon after he was threatened, Robinson grabbed a pair of keys attached to his belt and gave them to the suspect, who went for the safe. Robinson was on the floor. The suspect was unable to open the safe, and was told that only the manager has the means to get in the safe. The suspect ordered Robinson back up to ask for the manager. It’s not clear what happened at that point: the manager was in another room in the hotel.
Robinson called the manager over the phone. While the suspect listened in on the conversation, Robinson asked the manager to come to the front desk to fix a computer problem. The manager refused, telling Robinson to call technical support and follow motel procedure.
Moments later, the suspect took a large black zip tie from his black duffel bag, according to the report, and tied Robinson’s hands behind his back before taking Robinson’s wallet and his Florida driver’s license. The suspect got away with about $300.
Sheriff’s patrols checked the Best Western, Fairfield Inn and Sleep Inn in the area for similar incidents. None had occurred there. A search of the area was fruitless.
The robber was described as black, 6 feet, 3 inches tall to 6 feet, 4 inches tall, in his late 20s or early 30s, wearing a black leather jacket, black beanie style cotton cap, gray gloves, white t-shirt, black baggy jeans and dark colored shoes. He had a black teardrop tattoo near one eye and oval-shaped birthmark on one cheek.
Anyone with information on this incident is asked to contact the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office at (386) 313-4911 or Crimestoppers at 888-277-8477. You may remain anonymous and you may be eligible for a reward up to $1,000.
Monday’s robbery was the second, at gunpoint, within a small radius of Palm Coast: six days earlier, barely a mile down the road–in the Woodlands at Blare Drive and Oak Trails Blvd., off of Old Kings Road–a resident walking in the neighborhood was robbed of his wallet at gunpoint by two men in a pick-up truck. The case remains unsolved.