August 21, 2014

Elyria
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Avon man indicted on federal charges in bank robberies, bomb threat

Police take into custody the man suspected of robbing Dollar Bank on Monday morning. BRUCE BISHOP/CHRONICLE

Police take Brett Benson into custody after a robbery at Dollar Bank on March 24. CHRONICLE FILE PHOTO

An Avon man has been indicted in federal court on charges he robbed two Lorain County banks, including one incident when he allegedly called in a fake bomb threat to Elyria High School before the robbery.

Brett Benson, 40, faces two counts of bank robbery and a single count of making a bomb threat.

The first robbery Benson is accused of took place March 19, when he allegedly walked into Talmer Bank and Trust on Antioch Drive in Elyria and used a note to demand money from a teller.

According to the indictment, Benson fled with $2,634 in cash.

The second robbery took place March 24, after a man police have identified as Benson called Elyria police at 10:18 a.m. and reported he had seen someone he identified as “John Thomas” put a bomb in Elyria High School.

“I watched the guy put it there … He put it inside the school somewhere. I don’t know where, but I know it was a bomb. All I know is it was a real bomb,” the caller said, according to a recording of the call released by police.

When pressed for additional details on the bomb by a dispatcher, the caller hung up.

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The threat triggered the evacuation of the high school while authorities searched the school. No bomb was found, although police received the call that the Dollar Bank on West River Road North had been robbed while they were searching the school.

The robbery was reported at 11:11 a.m. and police arrested Benson about an hour later.

Bank employees told police that the robber, who was wearing a hood, entered the bank and handed a teller a note without speaking. The note demanded money and the indictment said Benson made off with $2,041.

Contact Brad Dicken at 329-7147 or bdicken@chroniclet.com.

  • Shelley Miller

    If this wasn’t so pathetic it would be funny

  • golfingirl

    Is that a tattoo, or did he let his little chidren scribble all over his face?

    The real crime here is the work done by the tattoo parlor!