SunTrust Bank Robbery Suspect Caught

Sarasota County Sheriff's Office says Chris Austin faces an armed robbery charge for a robbery at the SunTrust bank Wednesday morning.

Updated 12:15 a.m. Oct 18

A man suspected of robbing the SunTrust Bank near Bee Ridge and Cattleman roads is now in custody of the Sarasota County Sheriff's Office. 

Tellers say Chris Bernard Austin entered the bank, 5900 Katie Lane, at around 11:10 a.m., implied he had a weapon with a note "Got A Gun, you have 20 second[s]" and demanded cash, according to the sheriff's office.

Austin, 39 of 1331 15th St., Sarasota, fled on foot after placing the money in a black plastic bag, according to the sheriff's office. During a ground, air and K-9 search, deputies recovered the hat and shirt the suspect was seen wearing in surveillance photos.

Deputies responding to the scene found Austin near Doctor’s Hospital, according to the sheriff's office.

A man matching the description of the suspect was taken into custody by a deputy responding to the scene, and a comparison with bank surveillance video confirmed he is the suspect.

Austin faces a felony armed robbery bank charge, according to the probable cause affidavit, and is being held without bond.

Austin's criminal history includes burglary, possession of a controlled substance, sale or delivery of cocaine and another 16 charges for violating probation and contempt of court, according to the sheriff's office.


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