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Published on June 21, 2024
Suspected Serial Bank Robber Captured After Tense Standoff in Palm SpringsSource: Unsplash/ Michael Förtsch

A recent spree of bank robberies across Palm Beach County was brought to an abrupt end as Palm Beach County Sheriff’s (PBSO) deputies apprehended a 51-year-old man, identified as Daniel Cruz. CBS12 reports the arrest followed after a string of five bank robberies in just three days, which put local banks on high alert.

The scene at a Wells Fargo bank in Palm Springs was notably tense Thursday morning with police cars and crime scene tape in evidence after Cruz allegedly approached a teller demanding cash. He repeated his threat the following day at a neighboring PNC Bank, this time with the claim, that he would shoot everyone if his demands weren't met. According to a customer’s account to the police, Cruz offered a glimpse of what appeared to be a pistol, although he did not draw the weapon.

Despite a decreasing trend in bank robberies, with the FBI tracking a significant drop from 3,900 in 2012 to approximately 1,400 in 2022, this series of incidents serves as a reminder that such crimes persist. Experts suggest the decline could be due to banks holding less on-hand cash and advancements in surveillance technology, making it more challenging for perpetrators to avoid capture.

Through the use of high-tech surveillance and photo arrays presented to the victims and witnesses, authorities successfully identified Cruz. As reported on X CBS12, the FBI, which maintains a database of bank robberies, shows no other unidentified bank robbers currently in Florida, an indication of the efficiency of modern investigative techniques.

Daniel Cruz made his initial appearance at the Palm Beach County Courthouse on Tuesday, where he is facing charges for all five bank robberies, conducted without a firearm. Despite his repeated threats, no weapon was actually displayed, and fortunately, no injuries were reported during the incidents. Cruz is now being held at the county jail, with bond set at $250,000.

Miami-Crime & Emergencies