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Police catch accused red-handed bank robber who fled by bus

ST. PETERSBURG — Police arrested a man Friday they say robbed a bank and then had a dye pack explode on him while using a bus to escape.

A tip led police to a room at the Landmark Motel at 1930 4th St. N. Police said they knocked on the door, and Thomas John Castro, 54, answered with a bag of crack cocaine. He was arrested before midnight Thursday.

Castro was charged with possession of cocaine and armed robbery.

Police say Castro is the man who entered a Wachovia branch at 125 Fifth St. S on Thursday and gave a teller a threatening note asking for money. That man was wearing a disguise.

The robber then attempted to escape on a public bus, police say. That's when a red dye pack hidden with the stolen money exploded, which police say is very loud and noticeable. He then exited the bus and was last seen fleeing on foot.

Castro's arrest record is 16 pages long and shows past arrests for trespassing, burglary and grand theft.

It is unknown whether Castro was covered in red dye at the time of his arrest.

Police catch accused red-handed bank robber who fled by bus 11/20/09 [Last modified: Friday, November 20, 2009 2:11pm]
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