JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — After allegedly robbing a bank in Northside Jacksonville Tuesday, multiple sources tell First Coast News a bank robber suspect then tried to buy a plane ticket out of town but was caught by a JIA employee.
A bank teller gave the suspected bank robber an undisclosed amount of money around 4:15 p.m. after he walked into the Chase Bank on Dunn Avenue and slipped a note to the clerk.
Multiple sources confirm to First Coast News that the wanted bank robber tried to then buy a cash ticket out of town at the Jacksonville International Airport shortly after the bank robbery.
The man reportedly approached the American Airlines ticket counter and tried to purchase a ticket using just cash. The agent noticed odd behavior from the man, triggering the employee to pay close attention to him.
Sources tell First Coast News the suspect told the American Airlines employee he was just trying to get out of town.
The strange behavior noticed by the agent eventually triggered questioning and an arrest of the suspect.
The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office confirmed that the suspect arrested at JIA matched the identity of the man wanted in the Chase Bank robbery. He was transported to the Police Memorial Building to be interviewed.
An American Airlines spokesperson says they commend the actions taken by their customer service agent by alerting law enforcement at JIA and are proud of their employee's actions.
When police arrived witnesses say that a JIA supervisor was able to identify the suspect and point police toward security. That’s where JIA’s musician Randell Briggs watched it all unfold as he played music for travelers.
“When I see cops getting excited when I see they set a perimeter, I stop playing. Once I saw [TSA] wouldn’t let them come through, then I knew something was going on in the security area.”
Briggs says TSA stopped everyone in line as officers made their way through and around security.
“We have great security here so sometimes when something is happening here you don’t even know,” he said.
Briggs says he stopped playing music for about 45 minutes to ensure the officers could all communicate effectively as they captured the suspect.
He says arrests happen a few times a year there.