GULFPORT — The Sarasota Sheriff’s Office arrested a 39-year-old man Dec. 12 wanted in connection with the Sept. 13 armed robbery of Dunkin Donuts, 5602 Gulfport Blvd. in Gulfport.
Eric Jason Banks of Sarasota was booked into the Sarasota County Jail on a Pinellas County warrant. Bail was set at $150,000 pending extradition to Pinellas.
Gulfport police say when Banks entered the Dunkin Donuts, he pulled out a folding knife about 8 inches in length and demanded cash for the cash register. He reportedly concealed his identify by wearing a black ball cap, sunglasses and he had a torn piece of clothing across his face, which covered his mouth, chin and neck.
Police say an employee was able to use a cell phone to take photos of the suspect, including unique tattoos on his arms,
K9 deputies from the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office tracked to a nearby field and located clothing, which had apparently been dropped there by the suspect.
The Pinellas County Forensic Laboratory conducted analysis of DNA on this clothing, and it was identified as that of Eric Jason Banks. Detectives compared the cell-phone photos to known booking photos of Banks and confirmed that the tattoos were a match.
Detectives consulted with the Pinellas/Pasco State Attorney's Office to secure an arrest warrant for Banks on a charge or armed robbery with a deadly weapon. When they found out that Banks had moved to and was employed in Sarasota County, detectives sent the warrant information to Sarasota Sheriff's Office, and he was subsequently arrested.