Ryan Scott Ottney
PDT Staff Writer
Scioto County Sheriff’s Office responded Wednesday to a robbery at U.S. Bank in Minford, and the suspect remained at large as of Wednesday evening.
According to Chief Deputy Todd Miller at the Scioto County Sheriff’s Office, a bank employee called the Sheriff’s Office to report the robbery at 11:15 a.m. Wednesday.
No weapon was ever seen or indicated, Miller said, but the suspect reportedly ordered everyone on the ground and demanded money. After taking the money he fled the bank using an employee’s vehicle parked on the bank lot. Officers from the FBI office in Portsmouth said they also responded to assist the Sheriff’s Department at the scene.
The suspect was described as a white male with medium build, wearing blue jeans, tennis shoes, a dark colored sweatshirt, and dark ski mask covering his face. He was last seen driving a white, Ford F-150, with the word “Ford” written across the front windshield and a pink breast cancer sticker in the back window. The vehicle was last seen traveling south on East Street in Minford and was not located. The suspect remained at large Wednesday evening.
As precaution, nearby Minford School initiated a lockdown while authorities searched for the suspect.
In a similar robbery on Dec. 7, an unidentified man robbed Wesbanco in West Portsmouth. During that incident, the suspect drove away in a bank teller’s vehicle and later abandoned it in West Portsmouth. The suspect was never found. Scioto County Sheriff’s Capt. David Hall said at this time they have no way of knowing if the two robberies are connected, but noted the suspects have different builds.
There was also some speculation that a bomb threat at Wheelersburg School Wednesday morning may have been connected to the robbery in Minford. The Sheriff’s Office received the bomb threat within an hour of the call regarding the robbery. Hall said they don’t know if they are connected — but said if this was someone’s idea to distract authorities by sending them away, it didn’t work.
“It may have been done as a diversion thinking we were going to send everyone that way (to Wheelersburg), which we don’t do. We don’t send the whole department to that location,” he said.
Hall said authorities work together in a network of law enforcement to share resources and information.
“As soon as that happened, we’re talking to the State Patrol, we’re talking to Portsmouth Police Department, we’re talking to all agencies and we’ve got departments rolling as close as they can. The PD (police department) went out and checked areas for us. The State Patrol is checking areas for us. When you’re dealing with law enforcement you’re dealing with a big family.”
Detectives are requesting if anybody has seen this suspect or vehicle to please contact the Sheriff’s Office or local FBI office and not to approach the vehicle.
Anyone with any information concerning this bank robbery should contact Detective Denver Triggs at the Scioto County Sheriff’s Office at 740-351-1093, or the local FBI office at 740-354-5645. All calls will remain anonymous.
Ryan Scott Ottney can be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 287, or email@example.com.