Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Never Lose Your Cool

Like any working man, James Taylor wanted a cold beer after work.

The problem was, work was robbing a Bank of America branch in east Orange County, deputies said. And Taylor, 40, sipped his beer right after the heist at a pizza joint across the parking lot.

About 7:10 p.m. Monday, a customer noticed an upset teller at the bank inside a Publix store on South Chickasaw Trail, just north of Curry Ford Road.

"Hey, are you OK?" the unidentified man asked. "I've just been robbed," she replied, according to Orange County Sheriff's Cmdr. Jeff Stonebreaker.

Just then, the man she said robbed her was walking out the door. The customer followed and dialed 911 on his cell phone. As he spoke to a dispatcher, the customer watched Taylor take off his hat and shirt and climb into a van.

The customer watched the van go to Giovanni's restaurant and saw Taylor re-emerge, wearing a different shirt and sporting a bald head, Stonebreaker said. Taylor then went inside and apparently ordered a bottle of beer.

By the time deputies arrived, he was sitting at an outdoor table, drinking the beer.

"Just as cool as can be," Stonebreaker said.

Taylor was arrested on robbery charges and was to be booked into Orange County Jail early today.

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