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Suspect in 8 bank robberies arrested in Palm Harbor hotel

PALM HARBOR -- Authorities have been looking for Anthony Maresca for a long time. Detectives say he’s been on a bank robbery spree since November.

Monday, a Palm Harbor motel proved to be the end of the road for the accused serial bank robber. Maresca was taken in to custody at Kings Inn by Pinellas County sheriff’s deputies.

“It’s scary,” said Neighborhood Watch president Patty Young, who lives behind the motel. “We have a bunch of kids in our neighborhood that play outside, we have buses, we have bus stops right outside this motel, and it is scary for all of us in there."

Deputies say Maresca can be seen on bank surveillance video wearing hats, glasses, and a wig, going on a bank robbery spree since last year.

Maresca’s suspected of holding up eight banks in Pinellas, Pasco and Hernando counties. The most recent robbery was just last month. Authorities say, all the while he avoided getting caught.

“He’s moved around a lot, he’s changed his appearance, he’s made sure that he’s avoided capture,” said Pasco County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Eddie Daniels.

Maresca wasn’t just wanted for robbery. Deputies say he's a suspect in the murder of 69-year-old Bill Shuler, a Citrus County coin collector.

Detectives say last May, Shuler left home to meet Saresca for a coin transaction. Shuler never came home, and his body was later found behind a liquor store.

One of Shuler’s sons, Dan Shuler, spoke to Bay News 9 by phone Tuesday night.

"It’s been almost 13 months and there’s not a day goes by I don’t have a crying fit,” said Dan. “I miss my dad terribly. He was more than just you know a local coin collector murdered -- he was my dad. He was my role model.”

Shuler was also a retired pastor, and left behind a wife, three children, and six grandchildren.

Maresca has not been charged in Shuler's murder but remains the only suspect.

Deputies say Maresca was not cooperating during his interview.

At this time Maresca has been charged with four armed robberies in Pinellas County, and one in Pasco.

More charges are expected.