Bank robbery suspect caught within minutes

MARTIN COUNTY — Deputies apprehended a convicted felon 12 minutes after he allegedly robbed a bank Tuesday, the Martin County Sheriff's Office said.

At 11:30 a.m., the Sheriff's Office received a call about the holdup from Seacoast Bank in the 11700 block of Southeast Federal Highway, Hobe Sound. Ferris Ladon Toole, 48, of Bushnell had gone to a counter in the foyer and filled out a note, the Sheriff's Office said. Toole gave the note to a teller, said he had a weapon and to remain quiet, employees told investigators. Toole grabbed cash from the teller's cage and fled the building, the Sheriff's Office said.

An employee told deputies the suspect was driving a white Mitsubishi north on U.S. 1. Deputies stopped a car matching the description near Salerno Road, where Toole fled on foot, but was apprehended. The Sheriff's Office credited the bank employee with being alert in getting the vehicle description.

Toole served six months in prison in 1999 for 23 counts of uttering a forged instrument, grand theft of a motor vehicle and first-degree grand theft, according to the state Department of Corrections. The crimes happened in Pasco County, state records show.

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