110 W. New York Ave.
DeLand, FL 32720
By Jen Horton
posted Dec 12, 2012 - 3:46:47pm
Tyler Camp, 18, had gone to Walmart with his buddy Dec. 11 to buy some soda and grab some food at the McDonald's inside the store.
What Camp got was a workout.
"There was a lady running after this old man yelling, 'Stop him! Stop him!'" Camp said. "So I took off running after him. He ran up the side of the store, down the back road, and then said he had a gun, so I stopped chasing him."
Camp went back to the store, where police had already been called.
Camp described the chase and the man to officers. Before long, a police officer found a man matching the description at Lowe's.
DeLand police arrested 54-year-old Victor Perez. Police said he had grabbed two moneybags containing more than $6,000 from the store, and took off.
Police transported Camp to Lowe's, where he identified Perez as the man he had chased, according to police.
"I knew it was him. I had a good view; he was right there," Camp said.
Camp's mother, Kimberly Peek, said her son's bravery was a little terrifying. She heard a few hours later about his attempt to stop the robber.
"I'm proud of him. I can't say I'm not, but it scares me that it could have ended in a very traumatic way," Peek said.
According to the police report, the suspect had gone into Walmart to look at jewelry, and became distraught when the jewelry counter was closed. As the man walked through the front of the store, police said, two employees were pushing a cart of teal-colored moneybags containing cash taken from the store registers.
Police said the man snatched two of the bags from the cart, and ran out the grocery-side entrance of the store, right past the McDonald's where Camp was getting food.
Terrica Zimmerman was heading into Walmart right then. Her husband was waiting out in the car.
"I was walking into the Walmart, and when I got about to where the McDonald's is, I noticed a gentleman running with the moneybags," Zimmerman said.
She said she clearly saw the bags of money.
"I immediately called 911," she said.
Zimmerman saw Camp take off after the man, and she heard the threat of a gun.
"I just heard 'he's got a gun, he's got a gun,'" Zimmerman said.
Another woman, Yvette Hernandez, told police Perez was her brother, and that he did not have a gun. Hernandez told police, according to the report, that her brother was drunk and trying to purchase jewelry, and became upset because the jewelry department was closed.
Hernandez told police she saw her brother run out of the business, but she did not see anything in his hands.
A K-9 officer helped the DeLand police find two teal bags, cash still inside, behind JDT Collision Center at 209 Old Daytona Road.
Perez was in custody Dec. 12, charged with robbery and corruption by threat against a public official.
The Volusia County Department of Corrections shows Perez faced different charges exactly one year ago. On Dec. 12, 2011, according to the agency, Perez was charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, corruption by threat against a public official, and burglary of an unoccupied conveyance.
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