Office of Public Affairs & Media Relations
SUSPECT ARRESTED IN ORMOND PUBLIX ROBBERY AFTER RENT DISPUTE
A woman who robbed an Ormond Beach-area Publix on Friday morning was arrested after a thorough investigation led deputies to identify her and stop her in the area a short time later.
Kayla Kangas, 28 (DOB 12/13/1991) was taken into custody Friday after she was identified on video surveillance and then seen immediately after the robbery wearing the same clothes as the robber.
At the time of the Friday morning robbery, Deputy Cody Held was already at the home Kangas was renting at 18 River Drive, Ormond-by-the-Sea -- handling a dispute between a landlord and two tenants who were behind on their rent.
The landlord said one of the tenants was "Kayla," and he asked the deputy to go speak to her. When Deputy Held went to do that, she was gone. Surprised, the landlord said she must have just left. While Deputy Held was still talking to the landlord, dispatchers toned out the robbery call at Publix, and Held left to respond to it shortly after 11 a.m.
At the Publix at 1258 Ocean Shore Blvd., an employee at the customer service desk said a female suspect in her 20s approached the counter, passed a note demanding money, took the cash and left. She was wearing a dark baseball cap, a dark hooded Nike sweatshirt with the hood pulled over the cap, and dark pants.
Deputies began searching for the suspect, and while researching possible suspects in the area, Deputy Held contacted the landlord on River Drive to find out if "Kayla" had returned to the house. The landlord said she'd come back in a hurry almost immediately after the deputy left, that she was wearing the same clothes as depicted in the video, and that she'd picked up her boyfriend and left "like a bat out of hell."
Deputies were able to locate her driving on Ocean Shore Boulevard later that afternoon, and conducted a traffic stop around 3:15 p.m. at Ocean Shore and Granada Boulevard, where Kangas was turned over to detectives for an interview.
Kangas was charged with robbery and grand theft and transported to the Volusia County Branch Jail, where she remains in custody at this time on $10,000 bond.
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