Career criminal charged with robbing Sarasota bank

January 3, 2013 

SARASOTA -- A man about to plead in a Venice robbery case was arrested Wednesday after he robbed a bank in Sarasota, according to the Sarasota County Sheriff's Office.

John Samuel Gay, 56, was arrested about 8 p.m. after a standoff with authorities at his Sarasota apartment. Gay is a habitual felon, with 22 prior felony arrests and 14 felony convictions, according to the sheriff's office.

Gay had been scheduled to be in court Thursday to accept a plea agreement in a Venice robbery case in which he faced a five-year prison sentence, according to the sheriff's office.

About 2:31 p.m. Wednesday, Gay robbed the Bank of America branch at 6525 S. Tamiami Trail, the sheriff's office said.

Responding deputies identified Gay as the suspect and received information he had returned to his apartment in the 6300 block of Gateway Avenue. Deputies established a perimeter but Gay refused to leave his apartment, according to a report.

About 8 p.m., SWAT units were able to breach a window of the home and Gay surrendered peacefully.

Gay was being held without bond at the Sarasota County jail on a charge of robbery.

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