Thursday, November 02, 2000

Same thief hit bank twice

Leads sought in Lebanon robberies

By Sheila McLaughlin
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        LEBANON — An armed man who disguised himself in a chin-length black wig and sunglasses apparently made a repeat performance when he robbed the Lebanon Citizens National Bank in Salem Township last month.

        Investigators said Wednesday that the man, who remains un- identified, robbed the same tellers at the same bank twice.

        Sgt. Steve Arrasmith, of the Warren County Sheriff's Office, said he and the FBI linked the Sept. 18, 1998, and Oct. 3 robberies by reviewing security photos from the bank at 6123 U.S. 22/Ohio 3.

        Not only did the suspect wear the same basic disguise, he also donned the same plaid flannel shirt, uttered the same profane threat in demanding money and escaped in a stolen vehicle, Sgt. Arrasmith said.

        In each heist, the man walked into the bank pointing a semiautomatic pistol at the tellers and passed each of them an unmarked money bag to fill with cash, he said.

        The robber, thought to be in his mid-20s, told the tellers he would “blow their heads off” if they did not comply, Sgt. Arrasmith said.

        “He really seems to know what he is doing, and he does not take a chance. We think he has some ties to this area, obviously,” Sgt. Arrasmith said.

        Investigators recently stepped up their efforts to identify the robber because the tellers are terrified he will strike again, he said.

        Police are asking for information from anyone who may have seen the getaway car used in the Oct. 3 robbery, which occurred at 10:30 a.m. The car is a 1992 burgundy Honda Civic four-door sedan with a temporary spare tire on the right rear wheel.

        The car, which was stolen Sept. 27 from a home in the Wilmington area and was driven by a dark-haired woman at the robbery, was found abandoned at 2:45 p.m. in the Flat Rock area off Morrow-Woodville Road, south of Morrow.

        Anyone with information should call Sgt. Arrasmith at 695-1283 or the Cincinnati FBI office at 421-4310.


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