Wednesday, July 12, 2000

Man robs W. Chester Provident

The Cincinnati Enquirer

        The Tristate's streak of bank robberies continued Tuesday when a man wielding a blunt instrument robbed a West Chester Township bank. He remains at large.

        But an arrest was made and an arrest warrant issued Tuesday in two previous robberies. Forty bank robberies have occurred in Greater Cincinnati this year.

        West Chester police said the Provident Bank at 7301 Tylers Corner Drive was robbed at 9:20 a.m. by a large man wearing a mask.

        Police said the robber entered the bank and demanded cash, showing a blunt weapon.

        Witnesses said the man fled in a teal Mitsubishi, which had no front license plate and a spoiler on the trunk.

        Police said the robber was a 6-foot-tall white man, weighing 220 to 250 pounds, last seen wearing a black ski mask, gray sweat shirt and black pants.

        Meanwhile, Forest Park police have arrested one of three suspects allegedly involved in the June 26 robbery of a Bank One branch on Northland Boulevard.

        James Blackwell, 20, of Lincoln Heights, was charged with complicity to aggravated robbery in connection with the Bank One robbery.

        Mr. Blackwell was waiting in a car several blocks from Bank One when it was robbed, then drove two other suspects away, according to the arrest report.

        Two armed men had entered the branch bank June 26, and while one of the two held employees at gunpoint, the other jumped over a counter and collected an unspecified amount of money.

        Witnesses saw the men run behind Northpointe Plaza before disappearing.

        Also Tuesday, Cincinnati detectives issued an arrest warrant for a third man accused in a robbery last week.

        Donelle T. McNeil, 21, of New York City, is wanted for aggravated robbery in the Fridayheist at a Provident Bank branch in Northside. Two cohorts, also from New York City, were arrested within hours of the robbery.

        The investigation continues locally and in New York, police said.


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