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Woman Charged in Nerf Gun "Attempted Bank Robbery"

SPRING HILL - You can't yell "fire" in a movie theater and you can't joke about robbing a bank, but apparently, a Spring Hill woman didn't get the memo.

Deputies responded to the Wells Fargo located at 1337 Commercial Way on Wednesday, after officials say a woman attempted to rob them.

According to reports, 31-year-old Vanessa Christine 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."

Officials say, Ortega proceeded to withdraw $500 from her own bank account and told the teller she was "just joking."

Due to a previous arrest for domestic battery, deputies knew where to locate Ortega and she was subsequently taken into custody.

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.

Ortega is charged with 2-counts of Attempted Robbery and is currently held on a $20,000 bond.


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