LORAIN – A man who said he was carjacked Tuesday night by a would-be bank robber wasn`t an innocent bystander, police said.
Louis Ceron Jr., 24, of Lorain, was charged Wednesday with felony counts of robbery, making false alarms and possessing criminal tools. He also was charged with misdemeanor counts of tampering with evidence and obstructing official business.
Ceron pleaded not guilty to the charges Thursday in Lorain Municipal Court and was being held at the county jail on $100,000 bond. A preliminary hearing has been set for Wednesday with Lorain Municipal Judge Mark Mihok.
The charges stem from a failed heist Tuesday at Lorain National Bank on Kansas Avenue.
A teller there said a man with a red hat over his face and holding a gun tried to force his way into the bank, according to a Lorain police report.
But the bank was closed, and the would-be robber fled east from the bank, Lorain police Lt. James McCann said.
Ceron told reporters he was in a parking lot across the street when the robber approached, waved the gun in his face, yelled threats and stole his 1991 Ford Taurus.
He also said he was a Navy sailor who recently returned from service in Kuwait, and that he was on his way to dinner when the robber approached.
Police said Ceron told them that the carjacker fled north over the railroad tracks, where he lost sight of the vehicle. That`s when he ran to the nearest house, asking for help as police arrived, according to officers.
The detectives handling the case couldn`t be reached for comment Thursday to find out what led to Ceron`s arrest or whether any part of what he said to police and the media was true.
There has been no word about a second suspect who was seen pacing on the north side of the bank about 10 minutes before the robbery.