There's an app for that? Man uses smartphone to rob banks in South Florida, police say

PEMBROKE PINES, Fla. -- Talk about calling in your work. Police say a gunman chose an unusual way to rob a bank Tuesday — he used his smartphone to type a stick-up note.

But long distance wasn't part of his phone plan. Police descended on the suspect — who allegedly had pulled another holdup just minutes earlier — as he walked out the door, confiscating his phone.

Authorities said the man, whose name was not released, was suspected in at least two other recent South Florida bank robberies, plus holdups in Texas and Georgia. The suspect used the smartphone method at least once before, police said.

Around 9:15 a.m. Tuesday, police say, the suspect hit the Wells Fargo bank at 12440 Pines Blvd. Police were attending a 9/11 ceremony nearby when the call went out.

The second robbery occurred moments later at Chase bank, 11100 Pembroke Road. This time, a takedown team was there to disconnect the suspect's service.

Police can only speculate why the suspect, who wore a bulletproof vest, used a note at the first robbery and a phone at the second.

"Maybe there was an issue with his handwriting," Pembroke Pines Sgt. Chris Stacio said.


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