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Bank robber gives money to bus passengers, Hillsborough deputies say

TAMPA — A homeless man robbed a bank, hopped on a bus and handed out stolen cash to passengers before being caught, deputies said Thursday.

Just before 4:30 p.m., Elmer McGuirt, 27, walked into the Wachovia Bank at 13304 Bruce B. Downs Blvd. and gave the teller a note demanding money that implied he had weapon, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office.

He left the bank with an undisclosed amount of cash and boarded a HARTline public transit bus, witnesses told deputies.

Then McGuirt began handing out the money to other passengers, while keeping some for himself — stuffed in his pants — deputies said.

The Sheriff's Office contacted the bus driver, who then pretended to have a mechanical failure in order to pull the bus over at Fletcher Avenue and N 19th Street.

McGuirt and the other passengers were ordered off the bus where waiting deputies arrested him and confiscated the money, according to the Sheriff's Office.

Deputies were also able to get some money back from the remaining passengers.

McGuirt was charged with robbery and taken to a Hillsborough County jail.

Bank robber gives money to bus passengers, Hillsborough deputies say 04/28/11 [Last modified: Friday, April 29, 2011 12:08am]

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