December 22, 2014

Elyria
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Columbia Station bank robbed

COLUMBIA STATION — The FBI and the county Sheriff’s Office are searching for a white man in his 40s who robbed a Fifth-Third bank Saturday in Columbia Station, getting away with an undisclosed amount of money.

Surveillance photo

Surveillance photo

The robber is described as being 6 feet tall and around 225 pounds, according to FBI Special Agent Scott Wilson, who added that the man was wearing a black winter cap, black winter coat and black winter gloves when he walked into the bank at 26700 Royalton Road around 1:45 p.m.

“He passed a note to the teller,” Wilson said, “which demanded money and indicated he might have a weapon.”

No one saw a weapon and no one was hurt during the robbery. The suspect took the money and left on foot. Surveillance cameras recorded the crime.

“I think someone’s going to know this guy,” Wilson said.

Investigators will compare their surveillance footage from Saturday’s crime with other unsolved bank robberies in Northern Ohio, Wilson said.

“Lorain County had quite a few bank robberies last year,” Wilson said, adding Saturday’s robbery is the county’s first so far this year.

“Bank robberies are on the rise in Northern Ohio,” Wilson said, adding the poor economy probably isn’t to blame.

“I think the main reason why people rob banks is because of addictions to alcohol, drugs or gambling,” Wilson said.

Unless Saturday’s suspect is caught quickly, it’s unlikely Fifth-Third Bank will recover the stolen money.

“They usually spend it pretty quickly,” Wilson said, adding that he didn’t know if the teller managed to pass the suspect a dye pack. The packs explode and stain the stolen money with dye once it’s a certain distance from the bank.

Anyone with information about the suspect is being asked to call either the FBI at (216) 522-1400 or the sheriff’s office detective division at (440) 329-3801. All callers will be kept confidential, Wilson said.