High Surf Advisory issued January 26 at 3:34AM EST expiring January 27 at 7:00AM EST in effect for: Pinellas
A man walked into the Grow Financial Bank late Friday afternoon, put down a linen bag saying it had a bomb in it, and demanded money. the robbery shut down a major park of Pinellas Park for about an hour.
The FBI wanted Park Boulevard North closed in front of the bank when they detonated a bag police say Carmine Macedonio left on the counter claiming it had a bomb in it. Neighbor Stephanie Thompson says, "I am surprised how much they closed the road down." Nearby resident Theresa McMahon adds, "I kind of feel sorry for the person because there ain't no way you are going away with it you know."
The robbery became the talk of the city. Some stopped to watch because they lived nearby. Others just decided to wait out the traffic jam like McMahon, "We just drove around, got caught in the middle of the traffic and it was kind of exciting."
Methodically the bomb squad worked to ensure the safety of people and protect possible damage to the building. A bomb robot moved the package to the corner of the parking lot and hit it with a high powered water cannon. Pinellas Park Police Spokesman Adam Geissenberger says , "After the Tampa bomb squad rendered it disabled.. they did open the bag and found an alarm clock with a television antenna taped to it." It was not an explosive device. Some of the money was recovered, but not all of it.