A 19-year-old woman was arrested Tuesday night after she robbed a Deltona grocery store and fled with more than $6,000. Kourtney Joe had confronted the store manager as the store was about to close and ordered him at gunpoint to walk with her to the store safe located in an office. The manager opened the safe and handed over the cash. Joe then fled on foot. No one was injured and no shots were fired. Joe was found about an hour later in a nearby neighborhood, and the stolen cash was recovered.
It was nearly closing time at the Winn-Dixie at 2880 Howland Blvd. when Joe walked in and went to the store’s bathroom. She then bought a can of soup before finally approaching the manager to complain about the dirty condition of the bathroom. At the time there were just the manager and three employees present. A moment later, Joe opened a purse and pulled out a pistol. She told the manager to calmly take her to the safe and open it. Joe then told him to put all of the money into her purse “big bills first.” Finally, Joe walked out of the office and the store. The manager called 911 at about 11:12 p.m. He described the suspect as a young woman with a tattoo on her chest and wearing a pair of dark pants with a price tag still attached to it.
Several Volusia County deputies, along with a K-9 unit and a Sheriff’s Office helicopter responded to the scene to search for the suspect. A resident on Bluffview Circle, which is about a block away from the store, called 911 at 12:12 a.m. to report that a suspicious young woman had knocked on her door, but the resident didn’t let her in. Deputies responded to the area and found Joe walking down a street. She matched the description given by the robbery victims, including the price tag on the pants. A Sheriff’s K-9 team found the purse with the gun and cash still inside hidden behind a shed on Howland Boulevard.
The store manager and employees positively identified the woman, and Joe later admitted to investigators that she had committed the robbery. Joe, who is from Georgia, was charged with armed robbery, grand theft and aggravated assault. She was transported to the Volusia County Branch Jail in Daytona Beach without incident.