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Largo police arrest man they say had plans and material to rob bank

LARGO — A Largo man is in custody after police said they found damning evidence in his backpack early Friday as he rode a bike: explosive materials, a cloth mask with eye holes cut out and a letter "detailing his intentions to rob a local bank."

Police said they tried to stop Philip Raymond Pancoast, 39, because he did not have bicycle lights and looked suspicious as he rode behind Keene Plaza, 2200 East Bay Drive, at 4 a.m.

Instead, Pancoast rode away. Police arrested him shortly after, said Largo police Sgt. Andy Hill.

Besides the mask and letter, police also found smokeless powder, modeling clay, fuses, a butane lighter, latex gloves and cell phone casings in his backpack.

Police believe Pancoast was going to give the letter to an unidentified bank and have "the appearance of having explosive devices," Hill said.

His charges include resisting an officer without violence, loitering and prowling, and manufacturing, distributing and using explosives.

He remained in the Pinellas County jail Friday without bail.

Pancoast has been arrested twice before in the county; once on a charge of loitering and prowling in 2009, and another time on a battery charge in 2007.

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Largo police arrest man they say had plans and material to rob bank 02/12/10 [Last modified: Friday, February 12, 2010 11:47am]
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