79-year-old holds up bank to buy food, pay motel bill, police say

(WFLA)

HOLIDAY, Fla. (WFLA) – Sherri Medeiros had a bit of shock when she went outside of her job at the Travel Inn in Holiday on Tuesday morning. One of the motel guests was under arrest.

“When I came out there were like, mad cops out there, and then they told me he robbed the bank,” said Medeiros.

People at the Travel Inn have been arrested before, for drugs and other charges.

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This was different. The man in handcuffs was the last person at the motel anyone suspected of a crime.

“He was here a couple of days before he did that. He was a very nice man. I mean, the best tenant we had,” said Medeiros.

New Port Richey police arrested Vincent Anthony Ianellia, 79, just 21 minutes after they say he robbed a Suncoast Credit Union branch in Holiday.

The Pasco County Sheriff’s Office said Ianellia took a cab to the bank, calmly walked in and handed the teller a note saying he was robbing the bank.

“He actually used to bank at this institution, so he knew the employees there, started having small talk with them, as he was robbing them,” said Kevin Doll with the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office.

The sheriff’s office said the cab driver had no idea what was going on and that after robbing the bank, Ianellia got back into the cab and went back to his motel where he paid the bill.

“After we knew, like, he robbed the bank, we are shocked. Like, he’s a good guy, always in the room, no mess up, no complaints,” said Ron Patel at the Travel Inn.

The Pasco Sheriff’s Office said Ianellia told deputies he robbed the bank to buy food and pay his motel bill.

“According to him, he had not eaten in two days. He was hungry, wanted to pay his hotel bill, so unfortunately, his solution to that was to go rob a bank,” said Doll.

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