Bank robbery attempted

Friday, July 30, 2010

BELFAST - Attempted bank robbery and car theft investigations were underway Wednesday afternoon when a Marshall County Sheriff's investigator reported a stolen Ford Mustang - apparently the getaway car - had been recovered.

"A man on foot went up to the bank" in this unincorporated community between Lewisburg and Petersburg, Sheriff Les Helton said that afternoon. "He attempted to get in, and he drove away, and within a two mile radius, he abandoned his car."

The Sheriff's dispatcher was notified at "about 1-1:30 p.m., or in that neighborhood," Helton said.

Thursday morning MCSD Detective Bob Johnson told more of the story.

"Two people pulled up to the bank in a black Mustang," said Johnson. "A male passenger got out and went up to the door, wearing a yellow bandana over his face."

Johnson explained that the bank's front door is kept locked, and customers have to be "buzzed" in to the lobby. Wednesday afternoon, bank employees refused to let this man in, and a few minutes later he got back in the car and left.

The black Mustang was found abandoned at Round Hill Cemetery on Liberty Valley Road, about a mile east of the bank, Johnson said.

"We're pretty sure they had another vehicle parked at Round Hill Cemetery," said Johnson. A police dog was called to the scene, but Johnson said, "It could not get a track."

The Mustang has been impounded for processing by detectives.

Lewisburg Police Chief Chuck Forbis said Officer Seth Feinson and a sheriff's deputy were investigating the theft of a Ford Mustang from a parking lot at Southern Carton, 1340 Higgs Road, Lewisburg.

"It's believed to have been stolen for the bank robbery," Forbis said.

The car's owner is not thought be involved in the attempted bank robbery, according to Johnson.

The First National Bank branch in Park City "had the same thing happen last week," Johnson said, but he refused to say the two attempted robberies were connected.

The First National Bank's Belfast Office "has been robbed about three times," Helton said. "That dates back a long time. That being a lonesome spot - it's inviting."

Local law enforcement officials are working closely with the FBI and "the investigation is on-going," Johnson said. Some details of the attempted robbery are being kept confidential to aid detectives in their work.