James R. Collins, a suspect in the robbing of three Pinellas County banks, was arrested Saturday morning after an overnight chase that ended when dogs forced him into a tree and police threatened to fire beanbag rounds.
St. Petersburg police and the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office identified Collins, 36, as a suspect through tips from the public. Detectives found him near Freedom, Pa., and notified local authorities, who began chasing him Friday afternoon.
The pursuit ended when dogs forced Collins up a tree, and Beaver County sheriff's deputies threatened to shoot him with beanbag rounds. He was arrested and booked at the county jail to await extradition to Pinellas County on burglary and other charges.
Police believe Collins is responsible for robbing three banks in one week in July: Cornerstone Bank at 5800 38th Ave. N in St. Petersburg; Wachovia Bank at 3131 66th St. N in St. Petersburg; and Wachovia Bank at 8700 Bryan-Dairy Road in Seminole.
Police said he passed tellers a note asking for cash but didn't carry a weapon.
Authorities said he was a transient who fled on foot. They did not release how much money was stolen.