Car Used By Bank Robber Is Recovered

BETHLEHEM – Police today recovered the car used in Monday’s bank robbery, but are still searching for the culprit.

The Bethlehem Police Department, West Virginia State Police, Ohio County Sheriff’s Department and Federal Bureau of Investigation responded to an 11 a.m. Monday robbery at the United Bank Branch in Bethlehem. It was the third local bank robbery in less than a month.

Police said the suspect, who brandished a firearm during the crime, was seen driving a maroon, early 1990s Dodge Spirit – the car recovered today. He is described as being approximately 5-feet 8-inches to 5-feet 11-inches tall with a thick build. He was wearing a green jacket, blue shirt with symbols, blue jeans, white tennis shoes, gloves and a black ski mask.

Bethlehem Police Chief Russell Fehr confirmed this morning an unidentified person parking in the lot of the St. Paul’s Terrace Apartments in Elm Grove alerted police after she recognized the vehicle from pictures released to the news media.

Earlier reports suggested the robber was dressed in all black but that description was later clarified.

An updated profile of the robber from police says witnesses could not determine whether the man was black or white. The suspect displayed a small, semi-automatic handgun reported to be no larger than a computer mouse.

Nearby Bethlehem School was placed on lockdown when the robbery was reported.

Monday’s robbery marks the third bank robbery within the past several weeks in the Wheeling area, and the second robbery at a United Bank.

On March 25, a man robbed the United Bank on 12th Street at knifepoint On April 4, the Chase Bank on Market Street in downtown Wheeling was robbed at about 4:30 p.m. when a man entered the building and acted as if he had a gun.

Bethlehem police ask that anyone with information about Monday’s robbery call the sheriff’s office at 304-234-3690.

Heather Ziegler contributed to this story.