ST. PETERSBURG, FL — According to an online news report by Patch.com, the St. Petersburg Police Department and the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office allegedly identified a suspect who may have been involved in several bank robberies in Pinellas County area. The suspect, a 51-year-old man, was arrested and is believed to have robbed two banks. The banks, one located in St. Petersburg and the other in Seminole, were robbed within a span of three days, according to a press release distributed by the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office. The suspect faces several criminal charges filed by both the St. Petersburg Police Department and the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office.
The suspect allegedly robbed a bank and made off with an undisclosed amount of money from a bank. The bank robbery occurred at the Mid Florida Credit Union located on Fourth Street North. The suspect fled the scene of the bank robbery in a Toyota Corolla. The suspect was arrested by the St. Petersburg Police Department after St. Petersburg police tried to initiate a traffic stop. As the officer attempted to pull the suspect over, the suspect aimed a pistol at a St. Petersburg police officer and fired at least one shot at the officer. Fortunately, no one was injured, and the bullet struck a work van that was passing through the area, according to authorities. The suspect crashed his getaway vehicle after attempting to flee from the police after purportedly committing a bank robbery.
The Pinellas County Sheriff's Office detectives questioned the suspect while he was in police custody. According to the news report from police, the suspect confessed to a bank robbery committed on August 3, 2020. The alleged bank robbery confession concern a robbery at the First Citizens Bank located at 13700 Park Boulevard in Seminole, Florida, according to investigators.
The suspect is facing at least one armed robbery charge from the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office. The bank robbery suspect is also facing criminal charges brought by the St. Petersburg Police Department. These charges include, but are not limited to, fleeing and eluding a police officer, attempted murder, reckless driving with property damage, leaving the scene of a crash, robbery, and felon in possession, according to police officials.
According to fdle.state.fl.us, Pinellas County, Florida, had over 170 firearm-related robberies in 2019. In 2018, the total number of robberies committed with a firearm was 214. This is was a decrease of approximately 20% in one year. The total amount of cash stolen in Pinellas County, Florida In 2019 was $4,125,000. Approximately $70,000 of the stolen money in 2019 was recovered by law enforcement. The overall total of crimes committed in Pinellas County, Florida, dropped by approximately 2,444 crimes in 2019. This an 8% decrease in criminal activity. In Pinellas County, Florida, the most common crime committed is larceny. Shoplifting and theft of property from automobiles account for over 1/3 of the larceny crimes committed in Pinellas County, Florida.