SPRING HILL, FL – On Thursday, June 1, 2023, Hernando County Sheriff’s deputies responded to the Wells Fargo located at 1337 Commercial Way in Spring Hill regarding a Robbery. Upon arrival, deputies spoke with bank employees who said the day prior at approximately 12:30 p.m., a customer, identified as 31 year-old Vanessa Ortega, entered the bank holding a bright blue object in her left hand. The object reportedly resembled a firearm. Ortega raised the object, pointed it at customers and bank staff, and yelled, “This is a robbery, give me all your money!”
Ortega then pointed the object at a female customer, telling her to “Put all your money in my envelope.” Both customers and staff were in fear of Ortega’s actions. Ortega then proceeded to the teller window and told the teller she was only joking. Ortega then withdrew $500 from her own bank account and left the bank without further incident.
Bank staff told deputies they were easily able to identify Ortega, as she was a regular customer in the branch. Upon viewing surveillance footage, deputies were also able to easily identify Ortega, as they had previous law enforcement contacts with her.
As detectives responded to the call, a Verbal Disturbance call for service was received at another location. It was quickly determined that Ortega was one of the parties involved in the disturbance. Ortega was transported to the Hernando County Sheriff’s office to be interviewed by detectives.
During the interview, Ortega admitted she entered the bank with a “nerf style” toy gun, which she carries with her for her own protection. She also admitted to yelling, “This is a robbery, give me all your money.” Ortega stated she was just joking about the robbery.
Detectives obtained a warrant for the arrest of Vanessa Ortega. She was placed under arrest and charged with two counts of attempted robbery with a weapon. Her bond was set at $20,000.