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We've nabbed 'Zorro the Bandit,' police say

Above, police lead George N. Shaw, 50, of Tampa, to a St. Petersburg police van on Wednesday. Detectives say he is “Zorro the Bandit,” left, wanted for eight hold-ups in the past 21 days.

Above, police lead George N. Shaw, 50, of Tampa, to a St. Petersburg police van on Wednesday. Detectives say he is “Zorro the Bandit,” left, wanted for eight hold-ups in the past 21 days.

ST. PETERSBURG — Turns out Captain Ramon was wasting his time with all those elaborate traps. All it takes to capture the legendary Zorro, it seems, is a fingerprint on a bag of M&Ms.

That's how detectives on Wednesday said they caught "Zorro the Bandit," the robber wanted for eight recent hold-ups.

George N. Shaw, 50, was arrested outside his Tampa home Wednesday on four counts of armed robbery. More charges are expected.

An anonymous tipster gave police his name Wednesday morning. That, police said, allowed them to match Shaw's fingerprints to prints found on a bag of M&Ms recovered from the Jan. 29 robbery of a CVS Pharmacy in St. Petersburg. By 3 p.m., Tampa detectives had him in handcuffs near his home.

But Shaw said Wednesday night that the candy couldn't be his — he's a diabetic, he said.

"I don't eat candy," he said as police took him to jail.

Shaw is accused of eight hold-ups in 21 days — five in Hillsborough, three in St. Petersburg — starting Jan. 19 and ending with two Monday night.

The robber was called "Zorro the Bandit" because he wore a dark fedora like the character.

Police said Shaw brought a small item to the register — like the bag of M&Ms — with the pretense of buying it, then pulled out a silver handgun and robbed the stores of thousands of dollars.

Shaw has an extensive criminal record and in the 1980s spent a decade in prison for robbery.

We've nabbed 'Zorro the Bandit,' police say 02/11/09 [Last modified: Friday, February 13, 2009 9:07am]
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