Crime

Florida Man Rages, Robs After Hearing Cost of Subway's Cookies

On May 1, a customer entered a Pompano Beach Subway looking nervous. He paced back and forth across the eatery's lobby before asking employee Joaquin Zapata to ring him up for a soda and chips. Apparently changing his mind at the register, he then inquired instead about the price of a sweeter side dish. Now police are looking for a man who thought the price of cookies was too damned high.

The cashier says the robbery suspect complained about the cookies' cost just before jumping over the counter, grabbing cash, and bolting out the door. Although the Sun Sentinel is reporting the cookies' cost as a possible motive, it seems much more likely that the price inquiry was just a ruse and that the crime was planned long before the suspect walked in.

After all, the desserts cost 60 cents each -- hardly enough to send someone into a rage. On the other hand, a restaurant best-known for its $5 offerings is probably not the best target of premeditated robbery, which means there is a chance the cookie theory holds water.

The customer seemed to go along with the transaction at first, pulling a dollar out of his pocket. When the drawer was opened to provide 40 cents in change, the suspect apparently took back a bunch of $5 bills instead. A brief scuffle occurred in which the suspect flailed on the counter as Zapata and a would-be hero try to restrain him. A third customer -- apparently terrified -- runs out the door with the suspect close behind.

The Subway restaurant is located on North Federal Highway and NE Ninth Street. Although the cookies that might have precipitated the crime cost less than a buck, Crimestoppers is offering a $3,000 reward to anyone who can help solve it.

Send your story tips to the author, Allie Conti.

Follow Allie Conti on Twitter: @allie_conti



KEEP NEW TIMES BROWARD-PALM BEACH FREE... Since we started New Times Broward-Palm Beach, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of South Florida, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Allie Conti was a fellow at Miami New Times and a staff writer for New Times Broward-Palm Beach, where her writing won awards from the Florida Press Club and the Society of Professional Journalists. She's now the senior staff writer at Vice and a contributor to the New York Times, New York Magazine, and the Atlantic.