Police seek carjacking, robbery suspect - FOX 13 News

Police seek carjacking, robbery suspect

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CLEARWATER (FOX 13) -

A woman in St. Pete got carjacked outside a fabric store and the man accused of stealing her car is also wanted for robbing a bank just a few blocks away.

It happened right in the parking lot of the JoAnn Fabrics in the 2500 block of 66th Street North, around 1:45 Friday afternoon.

The victim was just about to get back in her car.

"She was approached by this man who produced a handgun and demanded her car, which she quickly gave him," said Sgt. Mike Puetz with the St. Petersburg Police Department.

Puetz said the man sped off, but stopped only a few blocks away, at the Wells Fargo Bank on the same street in the 3100 block.

"It's really unbelievable the way the traffic is," said Harry Moberly, who's lived in St. Petersburg all his life.

Moberly said he's surprised, given the high traffic on that street, that anybody would be brazen enough to do something so desperate.

"The description we're working on is a black male, light-skinned, appears to be either late teens or possibly early twenties. About 6'2", 6'3", kind of a medium build," Puetz said.

The suspect was also wearing a hoodie and a backback. The lower half of his face is covered.

Police believe he's the same guy in security video from the same bank when it got robbed back in January.

"The general description appears to be the same, and if you look at the gloves, the gloves look to be identical," said Puetz. "So we believe in fact, it's gonna be the same suspect from that January bank robbery."

"This exact same bank?," Moberly asked incredulously. "You're kidding!"

"I had 20 dollars left," said his friend Pete Powell as he yanked a $20 bill from the ATM. Powell said it's pathetic really, that people are desperate enough to do anything like this.

"People don't care what's going on," said Powell. "They're gonna go get what they're getting and get out."

Powell could only use the ATM, because despite getting to the bank during it's regular hours, the sign on the door said it all: "This financial center is temporarily closed."

"He had abandoned the car just a few blocks from the bank and we suspect, either had somebody pick him up at that location or maybe he had a vehicle waiting for him," Puetz said.

St. Petersburg Police hope to release video from the robbery some time next week, so people can get a better look at the suspect.

The woman was not hurt and got her car back shortly after the incident.

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