Hillsborough deputies arrest ATM robbery suspect - WNCN: News, Weather

Hillsborough deputies arrest ATM robbery suspect

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TAMPA, FL (WFLA) -

A man who was allegedly robbing ATM users throughout north Tampa has been caught.

The Hillsborough County Sheriff's office arrested Charles Griffin, connecting him to at least five ATM robberies over the Labor Day weekend.

Deputies say between Sunday and Tuesday, Griffin robbed five people at gunpoint at various banks along Bearss avenue and over on Fletcher avenue.

Officials say he targeted customers standing outside and even in cars, and one of the crimes happened in the daytime.

Officials say since Sunday, Griffin approached people with a handgun at ATMs at a Bank of America, a Wells Fargo and a Chase bank.

All of the banks were within a couple of miles of each other, and one of the crimes happened in broad daylight, at 1:35 in the afternoon!

Since they happened at ATMs, officials got a good look at his face and his getaway car. And on Tuesday, deputies on routine patrol spotted his car at a Race Trac on Bearss Avenue.

He was questioned and arrested.

Deputies say it's not common for suspects to rob the same banks in the same area over a short amount of time.

They say Griffin admitted he was stealing money to fuel his drug habit.

Officials are trying to see if he may be a suspect in other ATM robberies.

Deputies urge people to contact the sheriff's office if they feel they may also be victims.

He's currently charged with armed robbery, and he could face prison time.

And deputies want to use this story to share a message- you have to be very careful and aware of your surroundings when extracting money.

Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office Corporal Bruce Metzger said, "Drive around the building, look for suspicious vehicles, look for suspicious persons, if it does not feel right, follow your instincts, drive away and contact the sheriff's office and we will look into your suspicions."

Metzger said try to use ATMs in public view.

He added, "Consider conducting your ATM withdrawals along with other shopping. For example when you're buying your groceries. Most grocery stores will allow you to get a certain amount of cash back."

If you feel unsafe, don't take out money there.

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