TAMPA — Explaining the latex gloves and pantyhose stuffed in a money bag can be difficult for even the brightest bank robbers.
A Palm Harbor man dubbed the "Bank Bag Bandit" by investigators pleaded guilty in federal court Thursday to charges related to the armed robbery of five banks in Hillsborough, Pasco and Hernando counties in 2010 and 2011.
In a plea agreement, David Dwinell, 52, who was arrested in December 2011, faces a maximum prison term of life when he is sentenced later this year in U.S. District Court in Tampa.
At each bank, Dwinell wore dark clothes, a baseball cap and some sort of mask, and carried a blue zippered bag and a silver revolver, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office. He demanded money from tellers' drawers and cautioned them against slipping in exploding dye packs.
At some of the robberies, he was seen leaving in a gray Ford F-150, Lariat edition with tinted windows. As the robber fled the BB&T Bank in New Port Richey on Dec. 27, someone recorded a partial license plate number.
That led to searches of Dwinell's home and truck. Investigators found a .38 revolver, several bank bags, including one with the pantyhose and latex gloves, and more than $7,000 in cash.
Prosecutors said Dwinell quickly acknowledged robbing the banks, saying he did so because his home was in foreclosure, he owed money to the IRS and his unemployment benefits had run out.