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Former Hernando deputy could face second bank robbery charge

Elizabeth Perkins, 46, is charged in a Plant City bank robbery.
Elizabeth Perkins, 46, is charged in a Plant City bank robbery.
Published Jul. 16, 2016

A former sheriff's detention deputy accused of robbing a Plant City bank earlier this year is expected to face charges in a second Citrus County heist.

Citrus County sheriff's officials say Elizabeth Perkins took a similar approach with both bank robberies: She arrived at close to closing time, pulled a gun on the bank employees who remained, ushered them into a vault and demanded cash.

And in both cases, they say, she left behind matching fingerprints.

Perkins, 46, from northeast of Brooksville, has not yet been charged in the March 24, 2015, robbery of the Brannen Bank branch in Floral City, though Citrus County officials say she will be. She remains in federal custody, accused of stealing $110,000 from a Sunshine Bank branch in Plant City on Feb. 10.

She was arrested July 7 after a confidential informer tipped off authorities in Plant City and Citrus County and is being held without bail.

Perkins worked as a detention deputy in the Hernando County Sheriff's Office from August 2010 to September 2012. Federal court records in Tampa show she recently was unemployed.

In Floral City, authorities say a woman wearing a purple dress and possibly a wig walked into the Brannen Bank branch shortly before 4 p.m. She discussed opening a bank account.

Informed that the bank was about to close, she pulled a gun and directed employees into a vault and made off with an undisclosed amount of cash, according to Citrus authorities.

Citrus deputies say they recovered fingerprints from a paper water cup and from a disinfectant spray dispenser inside a bathroom, which she had entered before the robbery. Bank officials told investigators that the woman had apologized to them for vomiting.

In the Plant City robbery, the FBI says Perkins visited the bank the day before to discuss financing a land purchase. Investigators says she returned the next day about 4:30 p.m., showed a gun, ordered the branch manager and another employee into the vault and bound their hands with duct tape before leaving with $110,000.

"During interviews, Perkins denies any involvement in either (robbery)," according to a Citrus County Sheriff's Office news release, "but did admit to being in Floral City at the time of the robbery, telling investigators she was antiquing."

Contact Josh Solomon at (813) 909-4613 or jsolomon@tampabay.com. Follow @josh_solomon15.