Woman Pleads Guilty to Bank Robbery Spree in Marion and Pinellas Counties
|U.S. Attorney’s Office February 13, 2014|
OCALA, FL—United States Attorney A. Lee Bentley, III announces that Renita Mount Rayner (53, St. Petersburg) today pleaded guilty to three counts of robbery of a federally insured financial institution and one count of possession of a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence. She faces a maximum penalty of life in federal prison. A sentencing date has not yet been scheduled. Rayner was indicted on December 18, 2013.
According to facts presented at the hearing today, Rayner entered an Ocala branch of Alarion Bank, on November 12, 2013, and handed a teller a note that read, “Have gun. Will use it. Give me all the money.” Rayner then opened her purse and pointed to a handgun that was inside. After obtaining $1,940, Rayner dropped her demand note after a brief struggle with the teller. Rayner then fled the bank in a red Honda automobile.
Detectives subsequently identified Rayner’s thumbprint on the recovered demand note. They also confirmed that Rayner’s car matched the description of the getaway vehicle. Days after the robbery, Rayner was arrested on unrelated charges in the Tampa area. At the time of her arrest, she had $1,602 in cash still inside of her purse.
Subsequent investigation showed that Rayner had committed at least two other robberies in the previous three months. On August 7, 2013, she had walked into a Grow Financial Credit Union branch in St. Petersburg. During that robbery, Rayner produced a note that read, “Give me all your money, do not give a dye pack.” After obtaining $3,348, Rayner fled the credit union in the same red getaway car. When surveillance images of the robbery were released to the media; however, one of Rayner’s long-time friends recognized her as the robber and contacted authorities.
On September 5, 2013, Rayner also robbed a Dunedin branch of BB&T bank. In that incident, she handed a note to a bank employee that read, “Give me all your money, I have a gun and I am not afraid to use it.” After taking $2,740, Rayner fled the bank and threw away a wig and sunglasses that she had used as a disguise during the robbery. Investigators ultimately recovered the demand note and the disguise in a nearby trash can. One of Rayner’s fingerprints was located on a lens of the sunglasses. Her DNA was later confirmed on the discarded wig.
This case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives; the Federal Bureau of Investigation; Marion County Sheriff’s Office; Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office; City of St. Petersburg Police Department; and the State Attorney’s Offices for Marion and Pinellas Counties. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Robert E. Bodnar, Jr.