FORT MYERS — The FBI arrested a Florida man who authorities believe is a suspect in several bank robberies, including one in Punta Gorda.

On July 31, a black male believed to be John Armstrong Jr., 30, of North Fort Myers, forced entry into Bank of the Ozarks after catching a teller arriving for work at the front door, according to the criminal complaint. The suspect ordered the teller and another teller already inside the bank to the vault, telling them to fill a bag and backpack with cash.

He was armed with a silver semi-automatic handgun, according to the complaint.

The suspect then told the two tellers to stay in the bathroom for two minutes. He took approximately $151,000.

Surveillance video reportedly captured a 2006 Lincoln Zephyr parked near the bank less than an hour before the robbery and the suspect approaching the bank and hiding in the bushes. After the robbery, the Lincoln can be seen leaving the area.

Armstrong is the suspect in several other robberies, including one at BB&T Bank in Altamonte Springs, which was allegedly committed with Tanya Legg, 43, of North Fort Myers, and an unidentified associate on Sept. 26.

Armstrong and the associate allegedly used firearms to force bank employees to open the bank’s safe and stole approximately $22,000 in cash. Legg assisted in purchasing items used to complete the BB&T robbery and served as the getaway driver, according to a press release.

On Sept. 25, Armstrong and an unidentified associate allegedly attempted to commit an armed robbery of a PNC Bank in Davenport. Earlier that morning, Armstrong or an associate carjacked a vehicle and held the victim at gunpoint, then used that stolen vehicle as a getaway for the attempted PNC Bank robbery, a press release stated.

If convicted, Armstrong faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in federal prison. He made his initial appearance in federal court Wednesday in Fort Myers.



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