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Duo suspected in 3 bank robberies

A "Bonnie and Clyde" type pair are suspected of robbing three Carrollwood area banks in eight days.

The SunTrust Bank on Anderson Road was the latest, on Thursday.

Witnesses said a man and a woman walked into the bank at 12098 Anderson Road about 3:30 p.m. The man approached a teller, presented a threatening note, and took an undisclosed amount of cash. He and his accomplice ran away.

"We're fairly convinced that this duo is the same duo that has done three total robberies since Jan. 14," said Hillsborough County sheriff's Lt. Rod Reder.

A man and woman robbed the SunTrust Bank at 12902 Dale Mabry Highway on Jan. 20 using the same method. A robbery Jan. 14 at the AmSouth Bank at 13944 N Dale Mabry did not include the woman. But surveillance photos indicate it might be the same man.

In each robbery, the man has worn a Florida State University baseball cap.

"I'm convinced that with a photograph this good, someone in the tri-county area has got to know this guy," Reder said.

The man is in his mid to late 30s. He's about 5 feet 8 with a medium build and sandy blond hair and has a goatee. The woman is about 5 feet 7, with dark blond shoulder-length hair and a slender build.

Witnesses have not seen either of the bandits with a gun. But that doesn't mean they don't have one.

"We can't presume they are not armed and dangerous," Reder said. "They are robbing banks. They are putting customers and bank employees in peril."

Reder said it's a bit unusual for a man and woman to form a bank robbing duo. Their pattern of frequent robberies in a small geographic area indicates that they are likely to strike again, he said.

"We want to catch them before they do," Reder said, adding that he suspects the robbers may be hooked on drugs. But they could have other reasons for desperately needing cash.

"We don't care what their reason is," Reder said. "You don't rob banks to solve your problems."

_ Tim Grant can be reached at 269-5311 or at grantsptimes.com.

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