A suspect in eight bank robberies over the past two months and an attempted bank robbery on Tuesday in Ocala was arrested in Lakeland shortly after noon Thursday without incident.
The FBI, assisted by local law enforcement agencies, arrested Myron William Ernst on a federal warrant for bank robbery, bureau spokeswoman Andrea Aprea told The Lakeland Ledger. Other agencies involved included the Lakeland Police Department, Polk County Sheriff’s Office and Florida Highway Patrol.
Serial bank robbery suspect caught
Spokesman Gary Gross said Lakeland police officers were called to assist at a residence at 12:34 p.m. and that Ernst was arrested 10 minutes later.
The FBI suspects Ernst was involved in eight bank heists in Florida and Alabama since an Oct. 5 robbery in Orlando. That followed his August release on probation after serving most of an 11-year sentence in a federal prison on a 2010 conviction for six bank robberies.
Ernst’s crime spree included his alleged Oct. 12 robbery of the TD Bank at 6108 U.S. 98 North in Lakeland. In that incident, the robber entered the bank and handed the teller a note indicating he had a gun, according to law enforcement reports. He was given an undetermined amount of cash and drove away in a newer model dark gray Ford F-150 truck.
Ernsts most recent suspected bank robbery included a Wednesday hold up at the SunTrust Bank in Orange Park, according to a report by Jacksonville TV station WJXT.
On Tuesday, Ocala police detectives said a man resembling Ernst entered the Wells Fargo branch at 3201 SW College Road, across the street from the Paddock Mall, and gave a teller a note that demanded cash and threatened to shoot everyone in the bank.
Detective Richard Tuck said that after receiving the note, the clerk hid under the counter and apparently the robber panicked and ran from the bank empty-handed. Officers said he never showed a gun. Officers said he was seen leaving in a dark gray newer model Ford F-150.
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A suspected serial bank robbers run from the FBI and other police agencies is over after he was stopped in Lakeland hours after another attempted heist, according to the Ocala Police Department.
Myron William Ernst, 60, sought in multiple recent robberies that include an Orange Park SunTrust on Wednesday, was pulled over for a traffic violation and arrested after his drivers license matched the FBI bulletin on him, according to police. The arrest followed a 1:40 p.m. Thursday report of an attempted armed robbery at an Ocala Wells Fargo.
“The suspect was quickly identified as Myron William Ernst; a white male driving a newer-model dark gray Ford F-150 truck,” Ocala police said. The truck was reportedly stolen from a South Carolina dealership.
Media had been publishing and broadcasting several surveillance images of Ernst provided by authorities, but the spree continued. He is suspected in Orange Park robberies Wednesday and Oct. 9 as well Oct. 5 in Orlando and Oct. 12 in Lakeland.
Ernst started a GoFundMe page five months ago attempting to raise $85,000 for a 14-year-old girl named Cindy who he said needed a special wheelchair because she was in a “tragic accident that has left her paralyzed from the neck down.” There relationship wasnt indicated, and the fund showed no donations. He listed his home then as South Charleston, S.C.
Ernst was arrested in 2008 in South Carolina in seven bank robberies there and Alabama and Georgia, and sentenced to 11 years in prison in 2010 on six of those charges, according to the U.S. Attorneys Office. Ernst had violated his probation and had been on the run.