St. Petersburg Times Online: Business

Weather | Sports | Forums | Comics | Classifieds | Calendar | Movies

2 robbers, 2 methods -- same results

A woman has robbed six banks in the Tampa Bay area. A man has robbed 12. Authorities are asking for help to catch them.

By AMY HERDY, Times Staff Writer

© St. Petersburg Times, published March 20, 2002


A woman has robbed six banks in the Tampa Bay area. A man has robbed 12. Authorities are asking for help to catch them.

TAMPA -- He uses a gun. She uses only words.

But while their methods differ, the results are the same -- each has successfully robbed numerous banks in the Tampa Bay area during the past two years.

Now authorities say they need your help to identify them.

"If these people continue to do this, someone's going to get hurt," said Hillsborough County Sheriff Cal Henderson. "It's obvious they're not going to stop as long as they continue to be successful."

The woman, described as white and in her early 30s, is about 5 feet 5 and 140 pounds, with shoulder-length dark hair. She often wears a baseball cap and large sunglasses and leaves on foot.

She has robbed six banks since August 2000, officials said. Five were in Tampa and one was in Palm Harbor.

Officials are more worried about the male robber.

"He's getting more aggressive," Henderson said, noting that the man has pointed what is described as a silver or chrome handgun at various victims during his dozen robberies, which have taken place in Hillsborough, Polk, Pinellas and Hernando counties.

He is described as a Hispanic male in his late 30s, 5 feet 7 to 6 feet tall and 170 to 200 pounds, with short dark hair and some facial hair. He usually wears a baseball cap and sunglasses and speaks in a low and calm tone.

To aid law enforcement efforts, the Florida Bankers Association is offering a reward of up to $8,500 for information that leads to the arrest or indictment of the male robber.

He has used a 1986 to 1989 two-tone gray or silver Mercury Sable to flee, said Hillsborough sheriff's Capt. Robert Shrader. No tag information was available, said Shrader, who also would not say how much money the two robbers have netted.

Anyone with information on either suspect is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-873-TIPS (8477).

-- Amy Herdy can be reached at (813) 226-3386 or herdy@sptimes.com.

© Copyright, St. Petersburg Times. All rights reserved.