INDIAN RIVER COUNTY, FL – During the COVID-19 pandemic, dollar stores have turned dangerous and in some cases, even deadly. Another attempted murder has been reported at an American dollar store, this time in Florida.
A woman faces a second-degree attempted murder charge after she struck with her vehicle an employee at a Family Dollar. The employee had tried to stop her and another person he accused of shoplifting. The Indian River County Sheriff’s Office arrested Alexandra Phillipe, 22, of Orlando, who faces a multitude of charges. The agency also arrested Rodrick Robinson, 27, of Apopka, on Tuesday, Jan. 12. Robinson faces two charges of shoplifting and resisting a merchant.
The incident happened Tuesday afternoon at the Family Dollar located at 4490 43rd Ave.
Employees told investigators that Robinson pushed his way through a fire exit, carrying a large tub containing more than $200 worth of merchandise, and ignored one employee’s demands to drop the tub.
That employee and Robinson continued to struggle over the tub as Robinson walked toward a vehicle that was backed into a parking spot and running. While Robinson and the employee struggled, Phillipe got into the driver’s seat.
Another employee came out and got in front of the vehicle, telling Phillipe to stop. Instead, Phillipe rolled the car forward but didn’t strike the man as he had moved out of the way.
Once Robinson got into the car, Phillipe quickly accelerated and struck the employee. He was flung up onto the hood of the car, where he was able to grab and hold on. He told investigators that he feared for his life and thought the driver would continue driving with him on the hood.
Phillipe swerved the vehicle through the parking lot, and just before making it to 43rd Avenue, the employee let go and was thrown to the ground. He sustained facial, hand, and leg injuries consisting of scrapes and gashes and refused immediate medical treatment. Phillipe was able to flee to Interstate 95, where deputies were ultimately able to stop her and take her and Robinson into custody.
For her part, Phillipe said she did not know Robinson had gone into the store to shoplift.
Phillipe is currently being held at the Indian River County Jail without bail. Her charges consist of felony second-degree murder – attempted, felony reckless driving with serious bodily injury, leaving the scene of a crash on public/private property without rendering aid – involving injury, resist merchant, and misdemeanor shoplifting/retail theft.
Robinson’s bail has been set at $5,000.