Wednesday, June 20, 2018
Public safety

St. Petersburg man, 23, waited at ATM to rob women, police say

ST. PETERSBURG — The 23-year-old lay in wait as woman after woman approached the ATM, police said.

He tried to rob three and was successful in stealing $100 from one before he was arrested Wednesday morning, police said.

Justin Anthony Polito, 23, of St. Petersburg remained in the Pinellas County Jail in lieu of $160,000 bail Thursday.

He had been in jail five days before on a trespassing charge but was released after posting $250 bond, according to jail records.

Here's what landed in him in jail again, according to police: Polito planted himself outside a Wells Fargo ATM at 9655 Fourth Street N just before 9 a.m. Wednesday.

When Maria Soto, Shirley Harms and Jamie Francis walked up to the ATM, Polito approached each in turn and demanded money, police said. Before he could obtain any from any of the women, he ran away.

Then Anabel Ramos came to the machine. As she did, Polito ran up to her, demanded cash and placed a weapon she described as a "shank knife" against the middle of her back, according to an arrest affidavit.

Ramos handed over $100 cash to Polito before he fled, police said. The knife is described as having a small handle with tape around it and a short blade.

Ramos was not injured in the incident.

Polito was arrested about an hour after the robbery.

He has a history of arrests in Pinellas County dating back to 2009 on charges including domestic battery, drug paraphernalia possession and criminal mischief, according to jail records.

Marissa Lang can be reached at [email protected] or (813) 226-3386.

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