Police search for ATM robbery suspect - FOX 13 News

Police search for ATM robbery suspect

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TAMPA (FOX 13) -

Police are looking for a man who carried out two apparent armed robberies at ATMs on Fowler Avenue in Tampa.

They happened this week at the Bank of America at 1720 East Fowler Avenue.

In both cases, police say the man rode up on a mountain bike, approached the victims and told them he had a gun, robbing them of the money in their accounts.

The suspect also took keys and cell phones, and in both cases he left the scene heading east on Fowler.

Police are hoping to identify the man in the photos.

For USF senior Husain Baaquel, the routine stop at the ATM on Tuesday turned out to be a life or death transaction.

"I saw other people at the ATM so I didn't really feel scared or something. I just felt safe because there were other people," Baaquel said..

Mere moments after stepping up to the screen, Baaquel felt the gun to his back.

"I was like, ‘please, don't shoot me, I have a family. I have kids. Just don't do it,' " he recounted.

Baaquel is the second person recently robbed at the ATM. The masked suspect, seen in surveillance pictures, approached both victims on a silver mountain bike.

The hold ups happened at 9:45 p.m. on Saturday and 7:40 p.m. on Tuesday, as customers took out cash from the bank's busy ATM.

Tampa Police Department recommends using an inside ATM if at all possible, and to have your card out and ready as you approach the machine. They remind the public to check out their surroundings before exiting your car, and to trust your gut instinct.

It's advice that Baaquel is taking to heart. While the thief took off with his cash, car keys, and cell phone, he says he still has plenty to be thankful for.

"As long as I'm alive, it's whatever. I don't care about money. I just care about myself," he said.

If you have any information about either crime, you're asked to call Tampa Police Department.

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