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Robbery suspect convicted in past

MANATEE — It didn’t take long for Timothy J. Casey to find himself behind bars again.

Detectives say he robbed a Florida Central Credit Union branch on Monday, but it is not the first time he has run afoul of the law.

Since 2004, Casey, 44, has been convicted eight times in Manatee County on various misdemeanor and felony charges, and has had several violent crime charges dropped, according to court records. He has served several short jail sentences, but has never been sent to a Florida state prison.

Detectives say Casey on Monday rode a bicycle up the credit union in the 4500 block of Fifth Street West. At about 9:35 a.m., he gave a teller a note saying he had a gun and demanded money, sheriff’s reports said.

The teller gave him cash, which included a dye pack that exploded as Casey ran out of the bank. Minutes later, Casey went into a Ross department store nearby and bought clothes with a $100 bill covered in red dye. Casey then went into a dressing room, shed his dye-colored clothes and put on the new ones, according to the sheriff’s office.

Investigators later found Casey’s clothes in the dressing room and that a security camera had captured him in the store, according to sheriff’s reports.

Casey’s past helped detectives discover his identity, as corrections officers from the jail recognized him in the surveillance video, according to an arrest warrant affidavit. The credit union teller and a Ross employee then picked his picture out of a photo lineup.

By Wednesday, detectives had an arrest warrant for Casey.

The next day, employees of Best Buy called deputies Thursday to report that Casey had tried to steal from the store, in the 4200 block of 14th Street West, according to the sheriff’s office.

Deputies found Casey in the Best Buy parking lot and arrested him. Casey is being held in the Manatee County jail without bond on an armed robbery charge.

Casey had only been out of jail for a few weeks from prior convictions when detectives say he committed the credit union robbery.

In February, sheriff’s deputies arrested Casey for shoplifting a DVD player from a Toys R Us store. During that arrest, deputies found crack cocaine in his pocket. A judge sentenced him to six months jail on charges of retail theft and possession of cocaine.

Casey was close to getting out on those charges when in July a strip search at the Manatee County jail led to another felony conviction. Jail corrections officers found him smuggling tobacco in his rectum. He received a 120-day sentence for introduction of contraband into a detention facility, according to court records.

Before this year’s arrests, Casey had numerous encounters with the law.

Casey was arrested four times in 2004 and convicted four times on charges of criminal mischief, petty theft twice and violating a domestic violence injunction. His sentences amounted to 90 days in jail on the convictions, according to records.

In 2005, domestic battery and a domestic injunction violation charges were dropped, but the following year Casey went to jail for dealing in stolen property, defrauding a pawn broker and retail theft.

He received sentences totaling 95 days in jail on those charges.

Also in 2006, prosecutors dropped a domestic battery charge against him, as well as robbery and aggravated assault charges.

In 2007, deputies arrested Casey on charges of kidnapping, robbery and battery after a woman claimed he put a knife to her throat and stole her cell phone. Those charges were later dropped, according to records.