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Hailing a cab leads to arrest of ex-convict accused of robbing two Pinellas banks

LARGO — Police say they identified an ex-convict who robbed two banks recently because he caught a cab home after one of them.

Wayne Edward Harding, 43, of 315 First St., Unit A, faces charges of armed robbery and robbery. He was being held at the Pinellas County Jail in lieu of $60,000 bail, according to jail records.

Largo police said Harding entered BB&T at 14141 Walsingham Road about 1:38 p.m. Thursday. He handed a teller a note demanding money and saying he had a firearm, police said.

"This is a robbery,'' the note stated. "I have a gun. Give me the money, no dye pack or alarms, or I will shoot everyone in here. You have five seconds to comply."

He left on foot with about $1,900, the arrest report said. A witness told police that Harding got into a cab once he fled the bank. Police contacted the cab company and tracked him to his home, where he was arrested Monday, police said.

The unidentified cabdriver picked Harding out of a photo lineup, the arrest report said. After the robbery, Harding took off his black shorts and left them at the scene. Police found the note in the pocket of the shorts.

Harding was later linked to a Sept. 21 robbery at BB&T, 7995 113th St. N in Seminole, according to the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office.

Harding also used a note in that case. He got away with about $1,630, police said.

Harding has been to state prison three times since 1989, when he was convicted of robbery in Volusia County, according to the Florida Department of Corrections. Most recently, he was released from prison in December 2009 after serving 11 months on a Pinellas County conviction of dealing in stolen property.

Hailing a cab leads to arrest of ex-convict accused of robbing two Pinellas banks 10/19/10 [Last modified: Wednesday, October 20, 2010 9:40am]
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