Couple arrested in robbery of trucker

OKEECHOBEE — A man and woman have been arrested for their alleged connection with the reported robbery of a truck driver who was parked in the Walmart parking lot.

Michael Anthony Garcia

Michael Anthony Garcia

Arrested Wednesday, June 22, was Michael Anthony Garcia and Barbara Lynn Grubb.

Garcia, 43, N.W. Eighth Ave., Okeechobee, was arrested on a felony charge of aggravated battery with a deadly weapon. He is being held in the Okeechobee County Jail on a $50,000 bond.

Grubb, 34, S.E. 138th Place, Summerfield, was charged with one felony count of robbery by sudden snatching. She, too, is being held on $50,000 bond.

Barbara Lynn Grubb

Barbara Lynn Grubb

According to an arrest report by Officer Kelley Margerum, of the Okeechobee City Police Department (OCPD), Grubb approached the truck around 8:36 p.m. Tuesday, June 21, and reportedly asked the driver for money.

In his statement to the officer, the driver reportedly said Grubb told him her home had burned down, her kids were nearby and she needed a motel room.

The room, she supposedly said, was $70 and she needed $17 more to get the room.

Grubb reportedly told him she would work for the money.

At that point, continued the report, the driver reached into his pocket and pulled out a “wad” of cash and was prepared to give her a $20 bill. Instead, she grabbed the bundle of bills, got out of the truck and yelled “Mike!”

The driver’s bundle of bills totaled $202, stated the officer.

Garcia then approached the truck and hit the trucker in the head with a “… long, flat piece of metal with a serrated edge,” the officer stated. The trucker then tried to grab the weapon, but ended up with a deep cut on his right thumb.

The man and woman then got into a dark-colored Ford Explorer and fled the scene.

Around 12:46 a.m. Wednesday morning, Deputy Corporal Fred Bradley, from the Okeechobee County Sheriff’s Office (OCSO), spotted the couple at a convenience store on U.S. 98 N. He detained them until Officer Margerum arrived with the truck driver to identify them.

Officer Margerum went on to state she found the long piece of metal inside the Explorer, which turned out to be a machete.

Garcia and Grubb were arrested at that point.

“Both parties have arrest records in other states,” stated the officer. “Grubb has been arrested in Florida, Texas, Georgia and South Carolina. Garcia has been arrested in Ohio, New York and Georgia.

The truck driver, stated Officer Margerum, refused medical treatment.

Eric Kopp is a staff writer for the Okeechobee News

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