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Ranting robber of bank gets a bonus

Published Sep. 10, 2005

A masked man robbed a Carrollwood bank at gunpoint just before noon on Tuesday.

No one was hurt during the robbery of the Mercantile Bank at 10821 N Dale Mabry Highway. But authorities said the man, captured on a surveillance camera, pointed a large revolver at the heads of several bank employees. No customers were in the bank during the robbery.

Lt. Rod Reder, a spokesman for the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office, called it a classic "take-over" robbery.

"He was very profane and very aggressive," Reder said. "We had to call (Hillsborough County) Fire Rescue to check some blood pressure and pulses. They were very shook up."

Reder said the robber walked into the bank at 11:24 a.m. and ordered the seven bank employees to the floor. He was given an undisclosed amount of money and fled in a silver Kia four-door sedan. Sheriff's deputies are not certain if he was aided by a driver.

Although the man walked into the bank wearing a blue bandana over his face, authorities expect to catch him red-handed. The money he took also included two dye packs, timed capsules packed in wads of money that later explode. Upon detonation, the caps release tear gas and a permanent red dye.

Reder said detectives believe the dye packs exploded while the suspect was driving away.

"Hopefully, he has red dye splashed along his face," said Reder.

_ Anyone with information is asked to contact the Sheriff's Office at (813) 247-8000, or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-873-TIPS, a toll-free number.

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