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Man on probation reportedly robs Lutz bank

Law enforcement authorities announced the arrest of a 34-year-old Seffner man on Jan. 26 for allegedly robbing a bank in Lutz. The bank robbery reportedly occurred on Jan. 20 around 9:30 a.m.

Reportedly, a man wearing a baseball cap walked into the Bank of America located on State Road 54 carrying a folded newspaper. When he walked up to the teller, the man reportedly told the teller to hand over all of the money and that it was a bank robbery. The man then placed the loose bills inside of the newspaper before leaving on foot.

Officers used surveillance video from the bank's lobby to secure an identification of the man. They indicated that the 34-year-old man was identified by several acquaintances and relatives. He was serving a probationary sentence at the time for a different offense. The man was arrested and is currently in custody. He is accused of violating his probation, grand theft and robbery. It is unclear whether the man has any bond set in his case or if he remains in custody. It is also unclear whether police located any of the stolen money when the man was arrested or how much was taken in the robbery.

In a theft case in which video surveillance is used to secure an identification, the manner in which the identification is obtained may be at issue. A criminal defense attorney may challenge the admission of the video into evidence in the case. He or she may also send an investigator to interview all of the witnesses to the incident. Attorneys may be able to negotiate pleas to alternative sentences, or, in the event that prison is likely, to a lesser amount of time. Attorneys may also fight a case all the way through motions hearings and jury trial.

Source: The Tampa Tribune, "Lutz bank robber caught in Zephyrhills, deputies say," Jan. 27, 2015

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