Vehicle In Bank Robbery Found

BETHLEHEM – The 1990 maroon Dodge Spirit used in Monday’s robbery at the United Bank branch in Bethlehem had been stolen earlier in the day off the street in Martins Ferry, authorities said Tuesday.

Martins Ferry Police Chief John McFarland said the car was stolen from Fourth Street between 8 a.m. and 3 p.m.

“The owner reported he left the keys in the vehicle because a problem with the ignition switch made it hard to remove the key,” he said. “It was parked at 8 a.m. and reported missing when the owner returned to where it was parked after completing work.”

McFarland said his department will continue to work with Bethlehem police and the FBI involved in the investigation.

Bethlehem Police Chief Russell Fehr confirmed Tuesday that an unidentified woman parking in the lot of the St. Paul’s Terrace Apartments in Elm Grove alerted police after she recognized the vehicle from pictures released Monday.

“The car has been towed and is being searched,” he said.

Bethlehem police, State Police, sheriff’s deputies and FBI agents responded to an 11 a.m. call at the Bethlehem branch.

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 the car that was recovered Tuesday. 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.

An updated profile of the robber from police says witnesses could not determine the man’s race. The robber displayed a small pistol.