Florida robbery suspects may be Albany bandits - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Florida robbery suspects may be Albany bandits

^David Luster ^David Luster
^Ronald Bender ^Ronald Bender
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April 24, 2003

Albany-- Did two Florida men rob an Albany bank last week? They're charged with a bank stickup in Perry and are being questioned about a violent holdup in Albany.

The men were arrested in Jacksonville, Florida last weekend and charged with robbing a Perry, Georgia credit union April 10th. Now Albany police want to know if they're the ones who struck here four days later.

Fifty-three-year old Ronald Bender and his nephew, 29-year-old David Luster are the men in jail. Bender was I.D.'d from the Perry bank surveillance photo. Police found more than $50,000 cash, guns, and cars at Bender's home.

David Luster is the same size as the man who robbed an Albany bank with an AK-47 assault rifle last week. The robber, wearing a bulletproof vest, hopped onto the teller counter and helped himself to money. He fired two shots inside the Bank of America on Slappey but no one was hurt.

The FBI thinks these two men may have committed a string of bank robberies. Lt. James Williams of the Albany Police Department said "We've got some witnesses involved in this robbery. We want to talk with them, see if they can help us make a comparison to get these people identified. Or to tie them to some type of relationship here in Albany."

Lee County Sheriff's investigators are checking to see if Bender and Luster robbed the Colony Bank on Ledo Road October 31st.

The two are being held in the Jacksonville Jail, awaiting extradition to Perry where they have been charged with bank robbery.

posted at 4:29 by jimw@walb.com