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Stuttering bank robbery suspect, getaway driver arrested

SPRING HILL — Authorities in Pasco and Hernando counties say they have their stuttering bank robber — and his getaway driver, too.

Emanuel Joseph Knapp, 39, of 11429 Fox Run in Port Richey faces robbery charges in both counties, according to the Hernando Sheriff's Office.

Knapp robbed the Regions Bank at 1500 Pinehurst Drive in Spring Hill on July 27, fleeing with an undisclosed amount of cash. Three days later, he tried to rob the Hancock Bank at 2914 Little Road in New Port Richey, but left after the teller refused to give him money, authorities said.

On both occasions, detectives say, Knapp got away in a car driven by Alexandra Katherine Torgerson, 24.

Knapp was arrested in Pasco County on Wednesday. He had been out on bail after a Pasco arrest last month on a charge of doctor shopping, records show. He will face attempted robbery charges in Pasco first, then be brought to Hernando County. He was being held Friday without bail.

Torgerson, of 15625 Stable Run Drive in Port Richey, was arrested Thursday and charged with principal to robbery. She remained Friday in the Hernando County Detention Center in lieu of $75,000 bail.

Witnesses recalled the robber's pronounced stutter and a neck tattoo, authorities said. Knapp became a suspect after authorities were deluged with tips after releasing surveillance photos and information about the bank robber. He denies the allegations, but investigators say Torgerson detailed their involvement in the crimes.

Knapp's criminal history in Florida dates to 1997 and includes convictions for burglary, aggravated assault with a weapon, fraud, drug possession, and driving under the influence, records show.

Torgerson was released from prison earlier this year after convictions for drug possession and fraud, records show.

Stuttering bank robbery suspect, getaway driver arrested 08/31/12 [Last modified: Friday, August 31, 2012 9:53pm]

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