Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Pinellas bank robbery suspect arrested in Hillsborough


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.


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.


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.


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

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]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. No. 16 USF hangs on at Tulane, off to first 7-0 start


    NEW ORLEANS — After half a season of mismatches, USF found itself in a grudge match Saturday night.

    USF quarterback Quinton Flowers (9) runs for a touchdown against Tulane during the first half of an NCAA college football game in New Orleans, La., Saturday, Oct. 21, 2017. (AP Photo/Derick E. Hingle) LADH103
  2. Lightning buries Penguins (w/video)

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — Ryan Callahan spent a lot of time last season rehabilitating his injured hip alongside Steven Stamkos, who was rehabbing a knee after season-ending surgery. During those hours, Callahan noticed two things about Stamkos: his hunger and his excitement to return this season.

    Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Slater Koekkoek (29) advances the puck through the neutral zone during the first period of Saturday???‚??„?s (10/21/17) game between the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Pittsburgh Penguins at Amalie Arena in Tampa.
  3. Spain planning to strip Catalonia of its autonomy


    BARCELONA, Spain — The escalating confrontation over Catalonia's independence drive took its most serious turn Saturday as Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy of Spain announced he would remove the leadership of the restive region and initiate a process of direct rule by the central government in Madrid.

    Demonstrators in Barcelona protest the decision to take control of Catalonia to derail the independence movement.
  4. Funeral held for soldier at center of political war of words (w/video)


    COOPER CITY — Mourners remembered not only a U.S. soldier whose combat death in Africa led to a political fight between President Donald Trump and a Florida congresswoman but his three comrades who died with him.

    The casket of Sgt. La David T. Johnson of Miami Gardens, who was killed in an ambush in Niger. is wheeled out after a viewing at the Christ The Rock Church, Friday, Oct. 20, 2017  in Cooper City, Fla. (Pedro Portal/Miami Herald via AP) FLMIH102
  5. Chemical industry insider now shapes EPA policy


    WASHINGTON — For years, the Environmental Protection Agency has struggled to prevent an ingredient once used in stain-resistant carpets and nonstick pans from contaminating drinking water.

    This is the Dow chemical plant near Freeport, Texas. Before the 2016 election, Dow had been in talks with the EPA to phase out the pesticide chlorpyrifos, which is blamed for disabilities in children. Dow is no longer willing to compromise.