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Woman accused in connection with two St. Petersburg bank robberies

Mai Phan Heim, 48, faces two charges of armed robbery in connection with robberies at BB&T at 7100 Fourth St. N and Sterns Bank at 7555 Dr. Martin Luther King St. N on Thursday.

Pinellas County Jail

Mai Phan Heim, 48, faces two charges of armed robbery in connection with robberies at BB&T at 7100 Fourth St. N and Sterns Bank at 7555 Dr. Martin Luther King St. N on Thursday.

ST. PETERSBURG — Police arrested a St. Petersburg woman Monday in connection with two recent bank robberies.

Mai Phan Heim, 48, faces two charges of armed robbery in connection with robberies at BB&T at 7100 Fourth St. N and Sterns Bank at 7555 Dr. Martin Luther King St. N last Thursday.

She was being held in the Pinellas County Jail on Tuesday morning. It appears she used the money from the robberies to support a drug habit, police said, and she was found hiding in a closet at her home Tuesday, police said.

Police said Heim also is a suspect in the Sept. 17 robbery of the SunTrust at 8299 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. St. N, but she has not been charged in that incident.

Police said more charges are possible.

Heim, 596 79th Ter. N, lives near the banks and followed a similar routine in the three robberies, police said.

In each case, she entered the bank wearing a cap and carrying a large tote bag. She showed the teller a cell phone with a text message demanding cash and no dye pack. The messages also implied she had a gun. After getting the money, she placed it in the tote bag and left, police said.

During the Sterns Bank robbery she produced a handgun and spoke to the teller, police said.

Police said Heim also tried to enter Florida Bank at 3065 34th St. N on Thursday but was denied entry by bank workers who were alerted to a suspect's description, police said.

Detectives said Heim walked into two other banks in Pinellas Park that same Thursday, but didn't try to rob them.

Heim was charged in 2007 with eight counts of issuing worthless checks.

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Woman accused in connection with two St. Petersburg bank robberies 10/12/10 [Last modified: Tuesday, October 12, 2010 11:51am]
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