'Gentleman bank robber' suspect under arrest

Saturday, June 28, 2003

OCALA, Fla. -- A man suspected of being the "Gentleman Bank Robber" -- a holdup man who waited patiently in line at four banks, then thanked tellers for the cash -- has been arrested, authorities said Friday.

Larkin Lloyd Derks, 49, was arrested without a struggle at a motel early Thursday and charged with four counts of strong-arm robbery, cocaine possession and other offenses.

As he was being taken to a squad car, reporters asked whether Derks had anything to say to the tellers, and he replied: "I already thanked them."

Investigators said Derks confessed to robbing the central Florida banks and told them he has a drug problem. Police said they formed a profile of the robber through tellers' descriptions. They arrested Derks after getting tips that a man fitting the description was staying at an area motel.

"He expressed relief. It was a combination of a lot of things, like the drug problem, we're after him, the bank robberies, everything," said sheriff's Maj. Mike McQuaig.

It was not immediately known if Derks had a lawyer Friday.

Authorities would not say how much money was stolen.

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