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    Deputy arrests Orlando man in bank heist

    Detectives also are questioning the man about a series of other bank robberies in the past 10 days.

    By RICHARD DANIELSON

    © St. Petersburg Times, published February 23, 2001


    PALM HARBOR -- Just before 2:45 p.m. Thursday, a man with a fake mustache held up a Union Planters Bank at U.S. 19 and Alderman Road and fled in a silver Jeep Cherokee, authorities said.

    A few minutes later, a Pinellas County sheriff's deputy stopped a silver Jeep at U.S. 19 and Tampa Road, about 2 miles away. Sheriff's Sgt. Greg Tita said the driver appeared nervous and had fibers on his shoulders, "indicating that he may have been disguising himself."

    After questioning, investigators charged 36-year-old Todd E. Logan of Orlando in the Union Planters Bank robbery. Tita said Logan also would be questioned "in other robberies up and down U.S. 19."

    "We got this guy being charged with that one robbery and we'll be talking to him about others," he said.

    Authorities from Largo to Port Richey said this week that a serial bandit might be responsible for seven bank holdups in Pinellas and Pasco counties in the past 10 days. Tita said detectives would be "looking at him real close" in connection with those other cases, five of which took place in west Pasco County.

    Tita said a gray-haired man in tan pants, a blue suit jacket and a white cap with a blue brim passed a note to a bank employee at the Union Planters Bank at 2:43 p.m.

    After he fled, witnesses called in an unusually good description of the vehicle: a silver Jeep Cherokee with Florida tag XEZ 31F. A few minutes later, a deputy stopped Logan's silver Jeep Cherokee, tag number XEZ 34F, at U.S. 19 and Tampa Road. The tag on the Jeep belongs to a Honda Civic, according to state vehicle registration records.

    Tita said the arresting deputy secured the vehicle, and that investigators planned to search it.

    In the previous holdups, bank tellers said a man in his 30s with facial hair and a ponytail would come into the bank, hand them a note demanding money, then flee with both the note and the money. In some of the holdups, witnesses said he had a Fu Manchu-style mustache, although authorities said this week that the facial hair could have been fake.

    -- Times researcher Cathy Wos contributed to this report. Staff writer Richard Danielson can be reached at (727) 445-4194 or danielson@sptimes.com.

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