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Youthful robber grabs cash, flees

The young man with the black jacket and baseball cap seemed like every other customer at the SunBank office Monday morning.

Then he got to the front of the line. He slipped the teller a note and leaned forward. "I have a gun," he whispered.

As the teller removed money from a register, the baby-faced bandit grabbed a handful of cash, then fled. Outside, a waiting car picked the man up, peeled out down Hill Street and headed toward Inverness Highlands.

The whole robbery at 408 S U.S. 41 took less than a minute.

"He was in and out," said Detective Jack Armstrong of the Inverness Police Department. "Most people in the bank didn't even know it was going on."

The FBI also is investigating the 10 a.m. incident.

The bandit was described as a young white male, about 5 feet 6, and 18 to 20 years old. He had blue eyes, a round face and a stocky build and was extremely fair complexioned, police said.

At the time of the robbery, he was wearing a dark baseball cap, black shorts to the knees, black shoes and a black jacket. He was soft-spoken and had no facial hair, witnesses said.

The man fled in a gray-colored utility vehicle, possibly a Ford Bronco II. No description of the robber's accomplice was available.

Police suspect the men fled south toward Hernando and Pasco counties. Armstrong said the vehicle was described as covered with mud and limestone similar to that found on vehicles that drive through popular mud-bogging spots in northwest Pasco and southwest Hernando.

The incident was the second armed robbery in Inverness this year and the first bank robbery in city limits in three years, Armstrong said.

Anyone with information on the robbery should call Armstrong at 726-2121.