A 43-year-old woman is facing a bank robbery charge Wednesday after witnesses say she robbed the Bank of America Fruitville Road around 2 p.m.
Witnesses told the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office that a short woman wearing all black entered the bank and handed the teller a note demanding cash and claiming someone was forcing her to rob the bank. She then fled the bank on foot.
While inside the bank, the suspect, Jennifer Rene Gallo, of no permanent address, told the teller that she was being watched and if she didn't give her the money, somebody would shoot her, according to the probable cause affidavit.
When the robbery call was dispatched, the Animal Services deputy realized she had seen a woman matching the suspect’s description moments earlier, according to the sheriff's office. Deputies searched that area, found the suspect at a nearby gas station and recovered the stolen cash, according to the sheriff's office.
Deputies found Gallo with her girlfriend at the gas station where she told deputies that Gallo had appeared to be nervous and shaking but wouldn't say what she did, according to the affidavit. Gallo and her girlfriend went to an Applebee's where Gallo changed out of the shirt she was identified in during the robbery and they had lunch at the restaurant paying with a $100 bill, according to the affidavit.
Gallo is being held without bond for the robbery, according to the sheriff's office. Gallo has an extensive criminal history with more than a dozen arrests for Grand Theft, Burglary and Larceny, according to the sheriff's office.