• "Ninja robber" suspect to stay in jail for now


    ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. - A judge set bond on two counts, but didn’t rule on a third for a man accused of dressing as a ninja when he and other men robbed a handful of wealthy homes.

    Investigators said Frank Bower is one of the men seen on security video committing the crime in a Windermere home.

    Bower tried to change his bond status so prosecutors could produce new evidence in the case Wednesday, but the judge said he can’t afford to have a band of ninja robbers running around the state.

    “Breaking into homes and robbing people is not really something the court’s willing to risk at this time,” the judge said.

    Bower is in the Orange County jail on kidnapping and home invasion charges.

    The state said Bower admitted to the crimes.

    “We’ve provided the court with evidence (of) Mr. Bower’s cellphone where he described the next target,” said the state prosecutor.

    The records show a day after the Windermere home invasion, Bower received a text message about a money exchange.

    Bower responded with, “Sure thing I’ll give you the account number,” according to records.

    Investigators said Bower sent a text message later that day to one of the other suspects that read, “Perfect son. It is on the news now. Just saw it.”

    Bill Kitchen and Camilo Espinel said they were terrorized as the men dressed like ninjas went through their home stealing jewelry and other possessions.

    Weeks after the Windermere robbery, detectives said Bower and two other men were caught trying to break into a Dr. Phillips area home.

    Authorities said the men are also considered suspects in similar cases in Collier County.

    Investigators from that area helped Orange County detectives nab the men.

    The judge will make a decision on bond for the third charge on a later date.

    Previous Stories:

    Masked men arrested outside mansion linked to Windermere ninja robbery, others

    Three charged in Windermere home invasion, robbery; warrant issued for 4th suspect

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    "Ninja robber" suspect to stay in jail for now