Palm Frond Used As Weapon In 'Most Bizarre' Central Fla. Store Robbery

POSTED: 1:34 pm EDT June 19, 2008
UPDATED: 7:06 am EDT June 20, 2008

DELAND, Fla. -- A Central Florida man armed only with a large palm frond robbed a store in a crime described by police as one of the most bizarre they've ever seen.


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Police said Gelando Olivieri attempted to rob the V&F Discount Beverage store in DeLand by threatening harm with a spiked Spanish bayonet, a palmetto-like plant with sharp points on its leaves.

"The man came in with the branch. I have never seen anything like this," owner Goutam Sarkar told the DeLand-Deltona Beacon Thursday.

Surveillance video showed Olivieri wildly waving the palm frond in front of a worker's face.

Investigators said Olivieri threatened to use the leaves to stab if he wasn't given $50.

"(The plant) was sharp," Sarkar said.

Before any money was exchanged, Oliveiri was chased out of the store by a man armed with a bar stool.
Of course, it's Florida. Where else would this happen? Video at link.

Spanish Bayonet