September 3, 2014

Elyria
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UPDATED: Lorain credit union robbed; suspect remains at large

A Lorain SWAT team member stows his gear after responding to a robbery at CommStar Credit Union on West Erie Avenue in Lorain. BRUCE BISHOP/CHRONICLE

A Lorain SWAT team member stows his gear after responding to a robbery at CommStar Credit Union on West Erie Avenue in Lorain. BRUCE BISHOP/CHRONICLE

LORAIN — A gunman who robbed the CommStar Credit Union about 4:45 p.m. Wednesday remained at large.

The man, armed with a pistol, herded three employees and two customers into a bathroom before robbing the credit union, at 5609 W. Erie Ave., according to police spokesman Capt. Roger Watkins. No one was injured.

Watkins described the robber as a white or Latino man about 5 foot, 7 inches tall wearing black clothing including a mask. A credit union surveillance photo was unavailable Wednesday night.

Lorain police block off West Erie Avenue after a robbery at at CommStar Credit Union. STEVE MANHEIM/CHRONICLE

Lorain police block off West Erie Avenue after a robbery at at CommStar Credit Union. STEVE MANHEIM/CHRONICLE

At 4:49 p.m., 11 minutes before the credit union closes, police responded to an alarm. Unable to reach employees by phone, officers surrounded the credit union and summoned the SWAT team, believing the robber might still be inside.

Officers realized the robber had fled after entering the credit union. Police dogs were called, but Watkins said they were unable to pick up the robber’s scent.

The building is next to Mercy Regional Medical Center on Kolbe Road and Mercy’s New Life Hospice Center of St. Joseph. The center’s doors were locked until police said the area was safe, according to Jennifer Cakir, Mercy’s marketing director.

Watkins said police are investigating the robbery with the FBI. Special Agent Vicki Anderson, an FBI spokeswoman, didn’t return calls.

Contact Evan Goodenow at 329-7129 or egoodenow@chroniclet.com.