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Florida Pair Accused Of Terrorizing The State As 'Ghost Mask Armed Robbers'
Deputies dubbed the thieves the "Ghost Mask Armed Robbers" because of the ghoulish masks the suspects wore — but one of the alleged criminals remains unidentified.
A Florida couple has been arrested for their alleged role in a series of “Ghost Mask” robberies at banks and convenience stores in the state.
John Armstrong Jr., 30, and Tanya Legg, 43, were apprehended Monday night for a series of robberies where the perpetrators wore ghoulish masks to hide their identity.
Armstrong is facing federal charges of Hobbs Act robbery and attempted robbery and is suspected of participating in three Florida burglaries in recent months, according to a statement from The United States Attorney’s Office Middle District of Florida.
Legg was charged in a separate federal criminal complaint with bank robbery for her role allegedly acting as the getaway driver during one of the heists, authorities said.
The crime spree began on June 14, when Armstrong allegedly used a firearm to rob a 7-11 convenience store in North Fort Myers, striking one of the store employees in the face with his firearm, federal authorities say. The employee received a wound near her eye in the alleged attack.
Then on September 25, authorities say that Armstrong and another “unidentified associate” attempted to commit an armed robbery at a PNC Bank in Davenport. Earlier that day, either Armstrong or the unknown associate allegedly carjacked a vehicle at gunpoint to use as a getaway car in the attempted robbery.
Just one day later, Armstrong, an unidentified person, and Legg are accused of robbing a BB&T Bank in Altamonte Springs.
“Armstrong and the unidentified associate used firearms to force bank employees to open the bank’s safe,” authorities said. “They then stole approximately $22,000 in cash.”
Legg allegedly assisted by purchasing items used to complete the robbery and acting as the getaway driver, the statement said.
Last month, the Orange County Sheriff's Office issued a public plea for information about the robberies on Twitter, dubbing the suspects the "Ghost Mask Armed Robbers."
Armstrong allegedly committed several of the robberies while out on a $125,000 bail for committing a hit and run that killed a woman, The Fort Myers News-Press reports.
In that incident, Armstrong is facing charges of hit-and-run involving serious bodily injury, driving without a license causing death, driving without a license causing bodily injury, burglary, trespassing and resisting arrest.
Police said the crash occurred at U.S. 41 near the parking lot of a Sam’s Club on Aug. 30 and resulted in the death of 41-year-old Edith Herrera Zamora. Her passenger, Maria Ramirez, was also injured in the crash, the paper reports.
If convicted on the bank robbery charges, both Legg and Armstrong could face a maximum of 20 years in a federal prison for each count against them.
They both made initial appearances in a federal court Tuesday, authorities said.