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Suspected robber flees High St. bank, but not before showing his face

Courtesy of publiceyes.org

The FBI and Columbus Police Department are investigating a robbery that occurred around 9 a.m. Monday morning at a Huntington Bank on North High Street.

Harry Trombitas, FBI special agent, said suspects usually start appearing within a day of the robbery, especially when security cameras capture a good image of the robber’s face.

“It’s not uncommon for us to get the pictures out to the media and have people call during the day or in the evening,” Trombitas said. “But we’ve had good pictures and not gotten any calls as well.”

Trombitas said the average robbery results in about a $3,000 loss.

“Most robbers make it out with $1,000 to $2,000,” he said. “I can tell you this guy made it out with even less than that.”

By Monday evening, the Columbus Police Department had not received any new tips or details about the investigation since the robbery, Detective Steve Billups said.

The suspect was described as a white male in his 30s, standing about 5-foot-10-inches, and wearing a black, striped sweatshirt with the hood up, according to a report from the FBI.

He walked into the bank, located at 1928 N. High Street, claimed he was armed and demanded cash, according to the report.

But the robber did something that most robbers don’t — he removed his hood during the robbery.

With the robber’s hood down, the bank’s security cameras were able to capture pictures of his face.

Although the teller did not see a gun on the man, he removed cash from his drawer and began giving it to the man, who suddenly put his hood back up.

“If you keep in mind a vast majority of bank robbers are drug abusers, you have to realize they aren’t always thinking very clearly,” Trombitas said. “It could be drugs, it could be he was just really nervous or maybe he wasn’t thinking clearly.”

Because of his slip-up, he was nicknamed the “wrong-order robber,” since he had his “robbery checklist” in the wrong order, the report said.

Trombitas said he still has high hopes for catching the suspect.

Alexandria Thomas, a first-year in biology, said the robbery wouldn’t deter her from banking with Huntington, although she uses U.S. Bank in the Ohio Union.

“I’ll risk the crime for the convenience,” Thomas said.

“We usually work very well with local agencies,” Trombitas said. “We catch around 80 percent of them, so we’ve got a good chance at getting this guy.”

Ohio State Police Chief Paul Denton said because the bank robbery was off-campus, the Columbus Police Department is investigating it and OSU’s team is not involved.

Huntington Bank did not return calls.

The robbery was the sixth central Ohio bank robbery of 2011. The other locations include Huntington Bank (3424 Cleveland Ave.) on Feb. 7, Cooper State Bank (1616 E. Dublin-Granville Rd.) on Jan. 12, PNC Bank (4650 E. Broad St.) on Jan. 11, First Merit Bank (1156 E. Powell Rd.) on Jan. 10, and Huntington Bank (17 S. High St.) on Jan. 7.

For more information about these robberies and pictures of the suspects, Trombitas invited students and Columbus natives to visit publiceyes.org to help catch the “wrong-order robber.”

Anyone with any information or knowledge about the crime is requested to call the FBI at 614-865-2543 or the Columbus Police Robbery Squad at 614-645-4665. 

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