Naples cab driver picks up suspected bank robber


Video by

Naples cab driver picks up suspected bank robber

By Gabrielle Sarann. CREATED May 13, 2014

BONITA SPRINGS, Fla. - A southwest Florida cabbie becomes the unwitting driver for a suspected bank robber making his getaway. But the crook didn't get very far. Investigators say he did himself in.

"This is a very dangerous job," said the Naples cabbie.

That's why he didn't want to show his face on-camera. His route Monday morning started like any other.

"I have to get excitement because I'm going to make some money," said the driver.

But his stop at a Bonita Springs Publix took a different turn. The man he picked up was 36-year-old Robert Souza. Now in custody for robbing the BB&T Bank on Bonita Beach Rd shortly before 10:30 a.m.

"Believe me, he was a normal person with a bag on his back," said the cab driver. "He jumped in the car and that's it ."

He says they drove together for two minutes until deputies stopped them.

"That was make my heart jumping," said the cab driver. "Believe me, he was calm inside the car even when the police surround him, I [didn't see him move]."

Investigators pulled them over at a nearby plaza. That's when deputies smelled a strong odor of after shave and noticed that Souza had clumps of hair around his ears and the back of his neck. But even a new look couldn't throw them off his trail.

In the bank's surveillance video, deputies say Souza was sporting a beard. But an hour later, it was gone.

Souza is charged with robbery and violating his probation. He remains in jail on a $75,000 bond.