Bank robber breaks into occupied motel room, holds 1 hostage

HALLANDALE BEACH, FLA. (WSVN) - A bank robber who held a man hostage at a Hallandale Beach motel now faces federal charges.

According to Hallandale Beach Police, the suspect, identified as Todd Ferris, robbed the Desjardins Bank along Hallandale Beach Boulevard and Northeast 10th Avenue before he busted into an occupied unit at the New El Rancho Hotel.

Surveillance video captured the subject running along Federal Highway just after he robbed the bank, Friday.

Officials also released still shots of the robber when he was inside the bank.

After Ferris fled the scene, surveillance video inside a nearby Dominoes Pizza showed him running through the back of the store.

He then ran to the New El Rancho Hotel where he could be seen running into the occupied unit.

“Our cops were on it,” said Hallandale Beach Police Capt. Rashana Dabney-Donovan. “Once they got dispatched to the bank, they received information, they stayed on the case and looked for the suspect until he was in custody.”

Kai Banda said he was staying in the unit adjacent to the victim’s. “The gentleman forced himself in and said that he was attacked by two or three persons,” Banda said, “that he needed some help, and then after that, he didn’t want to leave.”

Police said Ferris bribed the victim to not call 911 with cash, but police were already trailing him.

For almost an hour, Ferris remained inside the motel room to shave his beard and change his clothes — all while keeping the motel guest hostage.

“Fortunately, our citizens were available to help,” Dabney-Donovan said. “They gave our officers information that led them to the location and led to the arrest of the suspect.”

Everyone got out safely.

Ferris is now behind bars, facing a slew of charges.

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