December 19, 2014

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Police and FBI arrest suspect in Wellington bank robbery

WELLINGTON — A man who police believe robbed Wellington’s Sun Center Federal Credit Union on Oct. 23 was arrested Friday at his home on Orchard Lane.

Aaron Fortier, 20, was being held at the Cuyahoga County Jail pending a court appearance on Monday. He is being charged with bank robbery with an enhancement for brandishing a weapon, said FBI spokeswoman Vicki Anderson.

Anderson said Fortier was arrested after numerous tips from the community.

“People were calling in with information. … The public was very helpful with that, so we’re sending out kudos to them,” she said.

The Cleveland FBI worked with the Wellington Police Department to make the arrest. A search warrant was issued, and Fortier was arrested by a heavily armed SWAT team unit, according to a city official.

Anderson would not comment whether the money reported stolen from the bank was recovered or how much was taken. She said the FBI believes Fortier acted alone, but agents aren’t “closing the door” on if Fortier may have had an accomplice.

At 3:34 p.m. Oct. 23, a man walked into a Sun Center Federal Credit Union branch at 805 Patriot Drive waving a pistol and demanded money from two tellers, who were the only other people in the bank.

No one was hurt, according to Wellington Police Chief Steve Rollins.

A Sheriff’s Office dog tracked the robber to an area where tire tracks were found, Rollins had said. Anderson said the FBI was still investigating how the robber evaded officers.

Fortier is the brother of Robert Erick Anthony, the 21-year-old college student who fell to his death March 22, 2011, from a high-rise hotel in Miami Beach.

Anthony’s death was ruled accidental and a police investigation revealed he had been drinking and smoked marijuana along with taking pills and MDMA, which is commonly known as Ecstasy.

The credit union robbery was the first bank robbery in Wellington since 2002, according to Rollins.

Fortier will be prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Ohio, according to a press release. The commission of a bank robbery can carry a maximum sentence of up to 20 years in prison.

Fortier has former convictions through Oberlin Municipal Court for possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of marijuana, underage consumption and operating a vehicle while intoxicated under the age of 21.

Contact Chelsea Miller at 329-7123 or cmiller@chroniclet.com.