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New Port Richey police arrest "polite" bank robbery suspect

The "gentleman bank robber," so named for his polite manner in a string of stickups several years ago, was arrested this week on charges he robbed a New Port Richey bank.

Larkin Lloyd Derks, 55, is accused of robbing the Bank of America on Little Road on Feb. 12. Authorities say he handed the teller a note suggesting he had a weapon and demanding money. He received an undisclosed amount and fled, his arrest report said.

After the security camera picture of the robber appeared in local newspapers, three people identified him as Derks, the report said. A detective spoke with Derks' live-in girlfriend and showed her the surveillance photo. She said the man in the photo was her boyfriend, the report said.

A bank teller then picked Derks' mug out of a photo lineup.

When Derks arrived Tuesday morning for a routine drug test at his Hudson probation office, deputies arrested him. Derks denied the charges and told authorities he was never at that bank.

Derks has been on probation since March 28, 2008, after serving four years in prison for four counts of armed robbery in Marion County.

A 2003 Associated Press article said authorities called Derks the "gentleman bank robber" because of his polite manner: patiently waiting in line before passing a note to a teller, then leaving quietly.

Derks was arrested in 2003 without struggle at an Ocala motel, suspected of robbing four banks within a month. As he was taken to the squad car, a reporter asked if he had anything to say to the bank tellers he held up.

"I already thanked them," Derks said then.

Derks' record also includes arrests for cocaine and marijuana possession.

Derks, of 9508 Carter St. in New Port Richey, now faces charges of violating his felony probation and robbery with a deadly weapon or firearm. He is being held without bail at the Land O'Lakes jail.

New Port Richey police arrest "polite" bank robbery suspect 02/25/09 [Last modified: Wednesday, February 25, 2009 9:57pm]
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