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Cops: Robber may have hit second Bradenton bank

BRADENTON — A bank robber wearing a baseball cap and sunglasses walked into a bank Tuesday afternoon and slid the teller a note before walking away with cash, according to Bradenton Police.

The man robbed Superior Bank, 2207 Manatee Ave. W., just after 1 p.m.

He fled south of the bank after taking a dye pack.

Police searched the area and used a canine to track the suspect. The trail was lost about a block away.

It’s possible the robber had a car waiting for him after the heist, according to authorities.

The suspect matches the description of a bank robber who hit a First America Bank on Manatee Avenue West April 14.

“We’re looking very hard at the similarities,” said Bradenton Police Lt. John Affolter. “We’re leaning toward they are connected.”

In both cases, a robber wore a navy blue sweatshirt, baseball hat and sunglasses.

The robber in the first case had facial hair.

The suspect in this case is about 5 feet 9 inches tall and weighs about 175 to 180 pounds.

He was also wearing blue jean shorts.

There have been four bank robberies reported in the city of Bradenton this year.

Tuesday’s robbery and the April 14 robbery remain without arrests.

According to FBI bank robbery statistics, between October and December 2008, there were 1,449 bank robberies reported nationwide.

More than half — 58 percent — of bank robbers used a note to rob the bank.

Affolter said people should contact police if they handle money with ink stains from the dye pack in the heist.

Anyone with any information about the robber’s identity or whereabouts in this case can contact Bradenton Police Department Detective Dennis Stahley at 932-9327 or remain anonymous by calling Crimestoppers at (866) 634-TIPS (8477).

Beth Burger, criminal justice reporter, can be reached at 708-7919.