Man, 51, faces charges in four Pinellas robberies, police say

Police say they nabbed Charles Combs while he was trying to make his getaway after robbing a credit union Thursday. It was the second time he robbed it, police said.
Check for the latest breaking news and updates.
Check for the latest breaking news and updates. [ JAMAL THALJI | Tampa Bay Times ]
Published Aug. 6, 2020|Updated Aug. 7, 2020

ST. PETERSBURG — A man who robbed a credit union and shot a police officer while trying to make his getaway Thursday also faces charges in three prior robberies, according to police.

Charles Combs, 51, carried out four robberies at three financial institutions, two in St. Petersburg and one in Seminole, according to the St. Petersburg Police Department and the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office.

He faces charges including two counts of attempted murder, one count of armed robbery with a deadly weapon, three counts of robbery with a weapon, and one count of fleeing and eluding a police officer with high speed or wanton disregard.

The first robbery occurred June 23 at American Momentum Bank at 5858 Central Ave., according to St. Petersburg police.

Then on July 7, police said he robbed the MIDFlorida Credit Union at 2646 Fourth St. N.

This week, Combs is accused of robbing two financial institutions: the First Citizens Bank located at 13700 Park Blvd. in Seminole on Monday, authorities said, and on Thursday he returned to rob the same MidFlorida Credit Union on Fourth Street N.

Police nabbed the St. Petersburg man after Thursday’s robbery.

Combs robbed the credit union at about 10:50 a.m., police said. He then drove away in a Toyota Corolla with what police said was an “undisclosed amount of money.”

A St. Petersburg police officer saw the car and tried to pull it over. Combs didn’t stop, police said, and instead pointed a gun at the officer. The officer continued following the Toyota, and police said Combs fired the gun “at least once” at the officer.

The bullet missed the officer. Instead, it struck a work van that was passing by. No one was injured.

The Toyota crashed at 22nd Avenue N near the Interstate 275 ramp, police said, and Combs was taken into custody. No other cars were involved in the crash.

Combs was booked into the Pinellas County jail at about 3:30 p.m. He is being held in lieu of $330,400 bail.