Leesburg man arrested in weekend bank robbery

Brandon Hooks

LADY LAKE, Fla. – Police apparently didn’t believe a bank robbery suspect’s story that the money in his wallet had come from gambling at a casino.

Brandon Jerome Hooks, 33, of Leesburg, was charged Sunday with robbery after Leesburg police said they determined he was the man who held up a Wells Fargo in Lady Lake the day before.

According to an arrest affidavit, an unknown man walked into the U.S. Highway 441 bank in the 13000 block in Sumter County on Saturday, wearing a white stripe polo shirt and khaki pants. He reportedly passed a teller a note that stated “I need bank 20,000 cash robbery.”


The teller told police she was “shocked” and gave the suspect about $3,000.

The suspect, who never showed a weapon, then fled the bank. The Sumter County Sheriff’s Office later distributed a surveillance photo of the suspect. Leesburg police on Sunday received a call of a “suspicious” person whose face matched the description of the suspect — in the area of Walgreens on Picciola Road.

The affidavit adds police eventually confronted the man, later identified as Hooks, in the nearby parking lot of Harbor Freight and during a search found $2,180 in his wallet. Hooks apparently had checked into a Best Western hotel in Leesburg and told officers he won the money shooting dice and playing poker at the Seminole Hard Rock Casino in Tampa.

However, police then searched Hook’s 2001 Buick Regal in the nearby Wal-Mart parking lot and said they found clothes inside that matched that of what the bank robbery suspect was wearing and arrested him.

Hooks was remained in the Lake County jail Monday afternoon in lieu of $10,000 bail.