Detectives investigate bank robberies in Palmetto, Manatee
MANATEE, Jan 09, 2013 (The Bradenton Herald - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --
Local law enforcement agencies are investigating two bank robberies reported in less than 24 hours in Manatee County.
About 5:20 p.m. Monday, an unknown male robbed Wells Fargo bank, 510 Seventh St. W., according to the Palmetto Police Department.
The suspect passed the teller a note demanding money. After the robbery, the suspect fled in an unknown direction with an undisclosed amount of money. It is unknown if the robber was armed, according to police.
The suspect was identified Tuesday as Earnest Aldean Griffin, 47, of Palmetto. Police have a warrant for his arrest and are urging Griffin to turn himself in at the Palmetto Police Department.
"We sent out a press release (Monday) night with photos on it, and we had some calls," said Deputy Chief Scott Tyler, Palmetto police spokesman. "Everyone is looking for him, but it will be really helpful if he comes in on his own."
Griffin may have also been involved in a bank robbery in unincorporated Manatee County that happened Tuesday morning, said Randy Warren, Manatee County Sheriff's Office spokesman. The sheriff's office has not released photos or positive identification of its suspect.
About 9:20 a.m. Tuesday, the sheriff's office responded to a robbery at First Bank, 1415 53rd Ave. W., Bradenton.
The suspect presented a note demanding money from the teller, who gave him an undisclosed amount of cash. The suspect walked out and drove away in a pickup truck.
"He was threatening to blow the place up, but it didn't appear that he had explosive devices on him," Warren said.
The suspect was described as a man in his late 40s, stand
ing about 6 feet tall, with a thin build and short hair. He was wearing dark blue shorts and a dark-colored polo shirt. His vehicle is believed to be a black or brown late-model Ford pickup truck with an extended tailgate and tinted windows.
No one was injured in either incident.
Palmetto and sheriff's detectives are working closely together on the cases, Tyler said.
Anyone with information about the robberies or suspects can call Palmetto police at 941-723-4587, the sheriff's office at 941-747-3011 ext. 2519, or Crime Stoppers at 866-634-TIPS (8477).
Elizabeth Johnson, Herald crime reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7041. Follow her on Twitter @EJohnsonBHcrime.
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