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Tampa robbery victim says he seemed polite — at first

CITRUS PARK — Jayne Alford doesn't have much experience being robbed. This was her first.

Still, she said, she didn't expect her assailant to be so polite.

"He called me ma'am several times," Alford, 51, said of the man deputies say robbed her outside a Bank of America automated teller machine on Lake Carroll Way in Carrollwood on Monday morning.

"He was particularly polite," she said. "He wanted me to be certain he wasn't interested in my PIN number."

Less than an hour later, Hills­borough County deputies arrested Geremias Robles, who they say is 48 years old and responsible for robbing another woman and stealing her car earlier that morning.

Alford, who works as a financial officer and a wedding services provider, stopped by the ATM about 7:20 a.m. before meeting a client. She didn't hear Robles approach, she said, until he was over her shoulder.

At first, Alford said she thought he was a homeless man begging for change and she tried to shoo him away. That's when she said Robles pulled out something she thought was a gun.

"As soon as that became apparent to me, I took it more seriously," she said.

He told her to take out as much money as she could and give it to him, she said.

"He was very clear, very polite. He did not get foulmouthed until I made him mad."

She said Robles took $100, then she ran to her car. She said Robles followed and took her keys and cell phone and drove away in the car he was using.

Earlier Monday, about 6:30 a.m., deputies say Robles had approached Amy New at the Publix supermarket at Ehrlich Road and Gunn Highway and told her he needed $1,100. He made her drive her 2008 Mazda to Regions Bank at 8620 Citrus Park Drive, where she gave him $400 from her account.

Robles drove New, 35, of Clearwater back to Publix and made her get out of the car, deputies said. Then he told her he needed to take the Mazda, but promised to take care of it.

He said he would drop the car off at a Publix on Dale Mabry Highway, deputies said. Then, deputies said, he found Alford.

When an off-duty deputy attempted to pull over Robles after he robbed Alford, authorities said, he pulled into the parking lot of an apartment complex and started running. But he was caught when a deputy deployed his Taser, the Sheriff's Office said.

Robles faces charges of kidnapping, two counts of robbery, grand theft, fleeing and eluding an officer and burglary.

Tampa robbery victim says he seemed polite — at first 03/15/10 [Last modified: Tuesday, March 16, 2010 7:08pm]
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