August 27, 2014

Elyria
Cloudy
79°F
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Man arrested after Lorain National Bank robbery

SHEFFIELD TWP. — Police and investigators scaled an apartment building on Berkshire Drive as Lorain County sheriff’s deputies positioned themselves around a wooded area nearby in search of a man suspected of robbing Lorain National Bank on Monday afternoon.

An hour after the robbery was reported at the bank, 42835 North Ridge Road, deputies apprehended a suspect, who was walking in front of the Berkshire Apartments.

James Kocak, 51, of Lorain, was arrested and charged with robbery. He later was identified by a bank teller as the same man who came into the bank at 12:25 p.m. demanding money.

Lorain County sheriff’s Lt. Donald Barker said the teller did not see a weapon during the robbery, nor did Kocak have one when he was arrested.

Sheriff’s deputies did find $3,200 in cash — the amount taken from the bank — in a wooded area where Kocak was seen.

Kocak admitted to deputies that he had robbed Lorain National Bank and showed them where the money was hidden, according to a news release from the Sheriff’s Office.

Keith Slusher, a resident of Berkshire Apartments, witnessed Kocak’s arrest. Slusher said he and his girlfriend saw Kocak run out of the woods prior to police arrival.

“He was sweating real bad,” he said, adding that Kocak was picking up several small blue bags from the ground.

Barker said residents of the building saw Kocak inside at one point.

Kocak was taken to the county jail. He is a registered sex offender, according to the Lorain County Sheriff’s Office’s list of sex offenders.

He was released from prison in March 2009 on a rape conviction after he was convicted of escape and failure to register in 2006.

Kocak also was convicted of possession of cocaine and drug paraphernalia in January 2011, according to Lorain County Court of Common Pleas’ records.

Orlando Torres, of Elyria, also was arrested during the investigation on a warrant for failure to pay child support.

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