Pinellas bank robbery suspect arrested in Hillsborough

NORTH PINELLAS

Suspect in two bank robberies is arrested

A man suspected in armed bank robberies in East Lake and Safety Harbor was arrested Friday by the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office. Jeffrey Merritt, 44, of 9411 Chalet Drive No. 1408, Tampa, was charged with one count of armed robbery, unrelated to the Pinellas bank robberies. Pinellas deputies say he is a suspect in robberies Sept. 16 at Anderen Bank, 3412 East Lake Road, and Sept. 27 at Fifth Third Bank at 1703 McMullen-Booth Road. The robber was armed and demanded cash from tellers in both cases.

DUNEDIN

Obama visit costly; Palin in area next

When Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama came to Pinellas County last week, he drew a heavy security detail from local law enforcement. On Friday, the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office released the total personnel costs it incurred handling the visit: $15,928.85. That includes everything from patrol deputies and canine officers to the flight unit and the criminal intelligence unit. Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin comes to Clearwater on Monday. Let's see what her visit costs.

CLEARWATER

Absentee ballot did arrive safely

In Friday's paper, the St. Petersburg Times reported on Claire Newman, a resident of On Top of the World, who gave her ballot to a boy claiming to be collecting absentee ballots. She suspected it was a scam and called the office of the Pinellas County Supervisor of Elections to cancel the ballot. While election officials warn people not to give their ballots to people who go door to door, it turns out that Newman's ballot arrived safely. Spokeswoman Nancy Whitlock said Newman's ballot was dropped off with the elections office Friday and did not show any signs of tampering. She said the Supervisor of Elections has received one other complaint on the topic. A woman in northeast Clearwater said someone came to her door Sunday afternoon offering to take her absentee ballot and save her the cost of a stamp. The voter declined the offer, Whitlock said.

CLEARWATER

Generation clash starts at playhouse

Francis Wilson Playhouse presents Visiting Mr. Green, the Broadway comedy-drama by Jeff Baron about a crusty Jewish widower who clashes with a rebellious young yuppie, at 8 p.m. today through Oct. 12, with 2 p.m. matinees Saturday and Sunday, at 302 Seminole St. Tickets are $20; $10 for students; group discounts available. Advance purchases are recommended. Call (727) 446-1360 or visit www.FrancisWilsonPlayhouse.org.

In Sports

Find out who was rolling up the points and stats in high school football this week. 14-15C

Pinellas deaths

Arnold, Jane S.

Bekesky, Helen

Burt, George Edward Jr.

Cook, Alma C.

Goldfeder, Herbert

Jackson, Leola B.

McBrayer, Donald R.

Minier, Jay M. "Pa Jay"

Nyberg, Barbara Jean

Odle, Jimmy D.

Spake, Billy G. "Gary"

Stewart, Margaret L. "Peg"

This list is from detailed obituaries published in Section B.

Pinellas bank robbery suspect arrested in Hillsborough 10/03/08 [Last modified: Friday, October 3, 2008 8:21pm]

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