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Banker assists deputies in catching suspected SCC bank robber

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image Jay Francis Larson (HCSO Photo)

A Ruskin man with a long local arrest history has added two charges of strong arm bank robbery to it.

By MELODY JAMESON

A Ruskin man with a long local arrest history has added two charges of strong arm bank robbery to it.

Jay Francis Larson, 49, is being held in a Hillsborough County jail this week, accused of robbing two Sun City Center banks earlier this month. He also is the subject of investigation in connection with a third similar heist.
Larson’s official address is listed as 1002 Calle Rosa Place, Ruskin, according to Hillsborough County Sheriff’ Office records.

He was picked up in Manatee County last week as the result of cooperative efforts by Hillsborough and Manatee County law enforcement officers, and with the help of a sharp-eyed South County bank officer.

 Larson’s most recent last day of freedom began to unravel Thursday (March 22) afternoon when he was spotted looking through windows of a Trustco Bank branch by a manager who recalled information on a Crime Stoppers poster. The poster was distributed after three bank robberies at two financial institutions on Sun City Center Boulevard in a two-week timeframe. The banker notified Hillsborough County officers that the suspect was observed leaving the area in a specifically-described vehicle, according to sheriff’s office reports.

In less than an hour, reports indicate, Hillsborough deputies had the vehicle and its driver under surveillance in Hillsborough as victims and witnesses made positive identifications from photo line-ups. Subsequently, two arrest warrants were obtained, according to Hillsborough S.O. Det. Jason Himmel.

And, as Larson made his way into Manatee County late that day, he was arrested without incident by Manatee deputies. He was returned to Hillsborough County on Monday.

Current charges allege Larson held up the Sun City Center branch of SunTrust Bank on March 9 and the retirement community’s Trustco Bank branch on March 16. Investigation of a robbery at the same SunTrust branch on March 5 is continuing, Det. Larry McKinnon said this week.

Larson, who has used the names James Parker and Randy A. Larson as aliases, also is charged with violation of probation. His arrest record in Hillsborough County spans at least 16 years, dating back to 1995. Charges over the years have included several that are drug-related such as possession of cocaine and cannabis, a number in connection with petty theft, grand theft, robbery, forgery and worthless checks as well as aggravated battery with a deadly weapon, plus traffic accident infractions. He has been incarcerated in a state prison at least twice.

Larson’s arraignment on the current charges was expected this week.

Copyright 2012 Melody Jameson

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