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Homeless man charged with Port Richey bank robbery

PORT RICHEY — A 41-year-old homeless man has been arrested on charges of robbing a SunTrust Bank at knifepoint Thursday morning.

Jeffrey Lee Hazelbaker walked into the bank at 7612 State Road 52 shortly after 9 a.m., the Pasco County Sheriff's Office said. He threatened the teller with a knife and claimed to have a grenade in his back pocket, authorities said.

He fled with an undisclosed amount of cash.

Deputies searched the woods near the bank for a couple of hours, and by 11:30 a.m. they had Hazelbaker in custody.

The teller identified Hazelbaker as the robber, and all of the stolen money was recovered from him, the Sheriff's Office said. Hazelbaker admitted robbing the bank because he had "fallen on hard times," officials said.

He was charged with robbery with a deadly weapon and violation of probation. He remained at the Land O'Lakes jail Thursday afternoon in lieu of $151,200 bail.

Homeless man charged with Port Richey bank robbery 06/24/10 [Last modified: Thursday, June 24, 2010 4:12pm]
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