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Suspects in July bank robberies arrested

Tony Holt Hernando Today
Published:   |   Updated: May 7, 2013 at 05:44 PM

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The suspected bank robber who hit two banks in three days last month has been identified and arrested.

Emanuel Joseph Knapp, 39, is accused of robbing the Regions Bank at 1500 Pinehurst Drive in Spring Hill and following that days later by attempting to rob the Hancock Bank at 2914 Little Road in New Port Richey.

The crimes took place July 27 and 30, authorities said.

Detectives with the Pasco Sheriff's Office concluded the two robberies were connected and investigators from both Pasco and Hernando counties worked together, said Hernando County Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Denise Moloney.

During the investigation, several anonymous tips identified Knapp as a suspect in both incidents, according to an arrest report. Detectives showed photos to the teller of the New Port Richey bank, who identified Knapp as well as the tattoo on the back of his neck, according to the report.

In addition to the tattoo, Knapp was identified by his stutter, deputies said

Knapp's mother, using photos from the banks' surveillance videos, also identified her son as the suspect in both robberies, according to the Pasco Sheriff's Office.

Alexandra Katherine Torgerson, 24, is accused of being Knapp's getaway driver. She was charged with principal to robbery.

Knapp was out on bail for a doctor shopping charge when he was picked up in Pasco for the Hancock robbery, Moloney said.

When his Pasco charges are settled, he will be served with the Hernando warrant, according to the sheriff's office.

In the July 27 robbery in Spring Hill, Knapp passed a note to a teller, but did not show a weapon, deputies said. He escaped the area on foot and eluded arrest in spite of a K-9 unit and helicopter being called to the scene.

He failed in his attempt to rob the New Port Richey bank, but authorities have not disclosed many details in that case.

"Because of numerous tips from citizens and countless hours of painstaking and thorough police work, two suspects have been arrested," Moloney said. (352) 544-5283

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