Police: Florida man leaves driver's license behind after robbing bank

Man wrote demand note on medical discharge with his name on it, police say

By Francine Frazier - Senior web editor
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Booking photo of Donald Towns

LAKE CITY, Fla. - A man accused of robbing a Lake City bank Monday morning left his driver's license behind and wrote his demand note on a medical document with his name on it, police said.

Donald Towns, 41, was captured just over a half hour after leaving the Renasant Bank on Duval Street and was charged with armed robbery, according to the Lake City Police Department.

He is being held without bond in the Columbia County Jail.

Police said Towns was the first customer in the bank at 9 a.m. Monday and head directly for the manager's office saying he wanted to open an account.

The manager asked for a photo ID, and then left her office to make a copy of the Florida Driver’s License Towns gave her, police said.

When she returned and gave Towns his license back, he handed her a note that said he had a gun, was demanding money and that he would kill everyone if they called law enforcement, police said.

Towns led the manager to a teller, pointing what appeared to be a concealed firearm at employees from his pocket, police said.

He was given a bag filled with $1,200 cash, and then told the employees he would come back and kill them if they called police before he walked out, police said.

No bank employees were injured in the robbery, police said.

Police said they found Towns' Driver's License and that the note demanding money had been written on a medical discharge form with Towns' personal information on it.

He was spotted about a quarter-mile away by a sergeant, who detained Towns until he was positively identified and arrested.

“We applaud the bank employees for remaining calm and remembering their training,” said LCPD Chief Argatha Gilmore. “Their cooperation ensured our ability to quickly and effectively piece together what happened, find the suspect, and take him into custody.”

The bank was closed for just over two hours as the Criminal Investigation Division conducted interviews and LCPD’s Crime Scene Technician processed the scene for evidence.

“We were able to respond to this incident, in force, swiftly," Gilmore said. "We had the suspect in custody within 36 minutes of the initial call thanks in part to an observant sergeant helping search the area."

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