NASSAU COUNTY, Fla. – Two men were arrested on charges of bank robbery Wednesday, one day after authorities believe they donned masked and held up a Fernandina bank.
Nassau County deputies arrested 42-year-old David Sanders and 20-year-old Brendan Leighton, both of Yulee, on charges of holding up the First Federal Savings Bank on Tuesday afternoon. Robbers carrying handguns wearing masks of smiling presidents jumped over the counter stole cash and left the bank in less than a minute.
Investigators said both men have confessed to hitting First Federal Savings Bank.
Nassau County officials called Sanders a "serial bank robber," suspecting he was involved in two other robberies at Yulee banks back in July. He is also a suspect in other bank robberies in Jacksonville and Massachusetts.
"That's one of the worst types of bank robberies there is -- this type where they come in and something can go wrong real quick," said Nassau County Sheriff Tommy Seagraves.
The sheriff said Massachusetts police contacted them about Sanders. They said Sanders is on federal probation for 40 similar-style bank robberies and armored car robberies in the past.
Seagraves said investigators put Sanders' and Leighton's rented Yulee home under surveillance, and on Wednesday deputies said they saw items being moved into cars and made their move.
The arrests of Sanders and Leighton shocked neighbors.
"First Coast Community Bank got robbed and it's right down at the end of street, and then I was like 'wow.' Then, I found out they're the ones that done it. That's completely shocking," Myleen Thomas.
Neighbors said Sanders and Leighton were trusted. Neighbor Raul Salazar told Channel 4 that police found the stolen money in his car because his wife thought she was just helping neighbors move to another home.
"It was unbelievable to see them pull a bagful of cash out of my car. They hid the money in some sort of diaper bag or something. To think people would use something like a diaper bag to hide malicious activity like that and to use you're neighbors as a mode of transport ? It's really disturbing," Salazar said.
He said his wife was taken in for questioning by police and later released.
Investigators in Nassau County said they have been several other people and more arrests could be on the way.