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Tip Leads Investigators to Armed Robbery Suspect in Spring Hill

SPRING HILL – RNRF receives dozens of viewer emails every day from people who provide story ideas, photographs of accident or crime scenes, and sometimes tips on the whereabouts of wanted criminals.

Yesterday, RNRF received a tip from a viewer who wished to remain anonymous, claiming to know the identity and possible location of an armed robbery suspect. That viewer told RNRF that 30-year-old Matthew Cook of 4144 Jason Road was most likely the person responsible for robbing the Kangaroo Convenience Store in Brooksville, on Monday (ARMED ROBBERY).

We immediately began investigating Cook’s background and social media activity, where we discovered several self-images on his Facebook page, bearing a striking resemblance to suspect captured on surveillance cameras inside the store. It appears that Cook frequently wears hats and sunglasses, and in a similar fashion as the suspect pictured in surveillance footage.

Jail records indicate that Cook was arrested for possession of methamphetamine on March 13th and released the same day on $2,000 bond. The only other local arrest that we discovered was a battery charge in 2010.

After completing our research, we passed the information along to the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office to investigate further. Within a few hours, deputies converged on the Jason Road address, but Cook was nowhere to be found. RNRF arrived on the scene, just as deputies received information that a man dressed in all black, believed to be Cook, was seen running through neighborhood streets near Northcliff Blvd and Deltona Blvd. With the assistance of K-9 and numerous deputies, a broad search was conducted of the area, but Cook was again able to avoid capture.

Just after 1:00 am this morning, jail records indicated that Cook was behind bars and charged with Aggravated Assault with a Firearm. It has not been confirmed if that charge is related to the Kangaroo Robbery or a separate incident.

According to Chief George Turner with the Brooksville Police Department, Cook is considered to be a suspect/person of interest in the Kangaroo Express Robbery.

Cook remains behind bars, held without bond.

Subsequent to the Armed Robbery investigation, two women who are listed as residents of the Jason Road apartment were arrested on numerous drug charges.

37-year-old Leigh Anne Stafford is charged with Possession of a Controlled Substance and 6-counts of Possession of Drug Equipment. Stafford remains behind bars, held on $16,000 bond.

35-year-old Tanya Ann Hanks is charged with Possession of Methamphetamine, Adderall, Morphine, and Oxycodone. Hanks remains behind bars, held on $42,000 bond.

We will bring more on this story as it develops.

UPDATE: Cook is now charged with Possession of a Controlled Substance without a Prescription. Bond on the Agg. Assault charge has been set at $1,000 but he remains behind bars, held without bond on the Possession charge. 

Hanks received additional charges of Driving on a Suspended License and 4-counts of Possession of a Controlled Substance. Hanks’ original bond amount has been reduced to $12,000 but she remains held without bond on the new charges. 

Stafford’s bond has been reduced to $1,500. 

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  • Me and Matt don’t personally get along and have a slight bit of beef but even I will agree that is not Matt and he does love his children. Best luck to you Matt even though we dont see on the same page.

    Friday, 10 April 2015, 10:14 pm
  • I wish I could remember the name of the guy but there is someone in spring hill who looks identical to matt. Also I will agree that he DOES NOT have a tattoo on his hand and not one that would be healed enough like that. Plus like those who knew him said, Matt NEVER drives anything but his own car. So as far as them saying he was running, yes I agree that does make him look guilty of something. (This coming from someone who personally knows matt) But that doesn’t necessarily mean that he committed aggravated assault and robbed a convenience store. As long as I have known matt he has never been big into guns. So I honestly think that the reason he was running was probably the possession charge he later was charged with… Plus in hernando county we all know the cops will make up charges as well as put you in jail because of whom you associate with. Perfect example would be the two women he had staying in his house. Plus I would l love to throw out there that yes matt does have children but just because of some shitty situations that DOES NOT make him at all a bad father. He loves his daughter and son. So im hoping you get the justice you DESERVE matt.

    Thursday, 9 April 2015, 8:47 pm
  • I know Tanya and she has children. She’s been an addict for years and needs to stay in jail and dry out for a while. She JUST got out of jail two weeks ago for the SAME thing. I have NO sympathy for her what so ever. Her boyfriend is a crack addict too and, surprise surprise, he’s in jail too. He’s gone as far as to hit her and her daughter and she still stayed with him. I feel so sorry for her kids, parents are supposed to be role models. Great role models.

    Friday, 3 April 2015, 4:38 pm
  • That’s not matt in those pictures, the guy in the pictures has tattoos on his hand and matt doesnt. They need too investigate more before they just accuse somebody. And all of you that put your two sense in talking shit need to get a life and stop believing everything they hear.

    Hcso n rnrf get your facts straight!

    Friday, 3 April 2015, 1:22 pm
  • Well I hope all of this guys friends posting how he’s not guilty on here helps him raise some money for a good lawyer, cause that sure as hell looks like him in the photos. And I’m sure he’s going to need some money on his books for some commissary cause he’s going to be there for a while.

    Thursday, 2 April 2015, 11:46 pm
  • What a dummy! These people all want to be the king pin of Hernando county, think there “balling” and then bam! There dumbass is in jail for robbing a store for a couple hundred bucks. Have fun guy, and make sure you got one of your ho’s putting money on your books for the next 15 years.

    Thursday, 2 April 2015, 9:23 pm
  • I don’t understand why don’t they don’t investigate the car is that he was supposedly driving.. ! maybe locate the owner and ask questions?

    Thursday, 2 April 2015, 7:05 pm
  • I know Matt pretty good.. the pictures aren’t great so it’s hard to tell.. idk.. hope this wasn’t you bro…

    Thursday, 2 April 2015, 7:03 pm
  • Idiot. You are one lousy bandit,

    Thursday, 2 April 2015, 12:18 pm
  • He probably drove down Dristol Ave to buy drugs,maybe RNRF can investigate Dristol since HSCO doesn’t care.

    Thursday, 2 April 2015, 9:32 am
  • Wow…I went to school with Leigh Anne and she was a bright, funny girl. So sad.

    Thursday, 2 April 2015, 7:14 am
  • We all should remember the phrase ” innocent until proven guilty” not the other way around.

    Wednesday, 1 April 2015, 9:40 pm
  • On a serious note… I’m not saying the guy robbed the store. I was being sarcastic . What I am saying is a good man and loving father does not have a house full of drugs nor associate with drug addicts. He will not do anything to jeopardize the safety of his children or him. He works hard, loves and takes care of his children.

    Wednesday, 1 April 2015, 8:49 pm
  • Matt is a good man? A father? WoW! But yet they busted him running from the law. Now you who support him and protect him are know better than him or the addicts that got busted with Meth and all the other drugs in the home he was in. Is it just me or am I missing something good in this story?

    A good man works for his money and doesn’t have drugs and trash all up in his house. Gosh, where are the kids? Hopefully not in his drug infested house.

    We know where they went after he left Kangaroo Convenience Store. He went straight to the drug store. Oh that’s right silly me, he’s a good man…..I don’t know which is scarier the good man part or that he has kids. I know one thing an example for them he is NOT!

    Wednesday, 1 April 2015, 7:43 pm
  • It’s our town/county,we are not afraid of you tweekers,because there are more of us than you. Besides your tweeky actions and addled brains stand out like a sore thumb. If you haven’t figured it out yet the whole town is on video cameras now,most intersections, stores and our homes…not really any place you can comitt your criminal activity that your not being watched. I love the fact Matt was turned in… YES!

    Wednesday, 1 April 2015, 7:06 pm
  • This man is innocent…..I was with him until after 7 when he left to meet his children Matt cook is a good man and a loving father that isn’t even his car! Free matt

    Wednesday, 1 April 2015, 6:52 pm
  • This guys not to bright obviously!! There are cameras everywhere people watching your every move!! Maybe if this guy had a REAL job he wouldn’t be in this predicament!?

    Wednesday, 1 April 2015, 6:35 pm
  • Yo yo and tori u should be arrested too, for being dumb. I guess he was running away in springhill which required the dogs to find him for no reason. Lmfao must be guilty of somthing. SO is doing a good job getting these dirtbags unfortunately the punishment isn’t enough.

    Wednesday, 1 April 2015, 4:29 pm
  • Obviously the suspect has a tattoo on the top of his right hand…. But in the picture on rnrf there is no tattoo on the top of his right hand… Hmmm

    Wednesday, 1 April 2015, 4:17 pm

    Wednesday, 1 April 2015, 3:24 pm

    Wednesday, 1 April 2015, 3:16 pm
  • Ppl should learn to mind there own business and leave the arrest up to the law enforcement

    Wednesday, 1 April 2015, 2:41 pm
  • It is simply amazing just how many dirt bags that are in this county, Every day were seeing and reading arrest after arrest, Are these dirt bags that stupid thinking that there not going to get caught. It’s simply mind boggling, The local jail must be jam packed. What kind of up bringing did these low lives have. And I thought Florida was full of older retired happy people, Who would have thought It.maybe a nice place to visit but you don’t get the real picture until you actually live down here for awhile. Thanks Tom for bring us both good and bad news in RNRF because how else would we know..

    Wednesday, 1 April 2015, 2:40 pm
  • Oh who would’ve guessed a druggie from spring PILL

    Wednesday, 1 April 2015, 2:26 pm
  • Not cheers but everyone knows your name,lol!!!Duh!!!!!!!

    Wednesday, 1 April 2015, 1:54 pm
  • Matt wouldnt have been driving ANY other car then his own, and doesnt even own a shirt that looks like that, this is bullshit! RECOVER YOUR FACTS BEFORE YOU ARREST! That doesnt even look like him in the store picture! Having scumbag so-called friends doesnt make you an armed robbery suspect he is a loving father who is messed up because of another bullshit arrest from the system!!!!! Get your FACTS HERNANDO COUNTY!

    Wednesday, 1 April 2015, 1:41 pm
  • Times up! Told you so…..Americas Dumbest Criminal. Silly boy and you thought you were going to get away with it. Bahahaha….. Not in this county! Great work tipster, RNRF and HCSO .

    Now that’s what I call a community coming together.

    Wednesday, 1 April 2015, 1:13 pm
  • WOW! Druggies involved in more violent crime! What a surprise! Good job tipster, RNRF and HCSO!

    Wednesday, 1 April 2015, 11:09 am
  • Crack heads….or should I say cracked heads?

    Wednesday, 1 April 2015, 10:58 am

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