CRIME

Man with AK-47 charged with trying to rob 2 stores

Police say a man carrying a loaded rifle attempted to rob two stores before being arrested.

The Ocala Star-Banner reports that 64-year-old Ernest Pate was charged on Sunday with attempted robbery with a firearm and other charges.

A Marion County Sheriff's Office report says Pate was wearing all black and carrying the AK-47 on Saturday when he entered two different stores.

In the first, a clerk told police he was kneeling behind the counter restocking cigarettes when a man armed with a rifle entered and briefly talked with two patrons before leaving.

Deputies say Pate next went to a neighboring store and asked an employee if they were "ready to be robbed." Officials say Pate then said he was joking and left.

Officers later found Pate walking down the street and located the weapon