Pair Of Bank Heists Linked

WHEELING – Police believe the man who robbed United Bank on March 25 may be the same one who held up Chase Bank on April 4.

“After looking at evidence gathered from both downtown crime scenes, we have concluded that we are looking for the same guy,” said Sgt. Gregg McKenzie, a detective. “It’s frustrating to be two months down the road and not have this guy in custody.”

He said police are are no longer looking for a white car as originally reported, but rather have linked a dark colored, four-door early 2000s Hyundai to the case.

McKenzie, who declined to give any details about how the cases are linked, said his department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation are sharing information. Anyone with information should call Wheeling police at 304-344-3661 or the FBI at 304-232-4464.

Shortly before before 1 p.m. March 25, a man walked into United Bank on 12th Street and flashed a cutting instrument – suspected to be a knife, box cutter or screwdriver – at a teller. He reportedly handed the teller a note demanding money and then took an undetermined amount of cash out of the teller’s hand before he could finish collecting money from the tray. Police said he was wearing a green hooded sweatshirt, light pants and black glasses.

At 4:30 p.m. April 4, a man entered the Chase Bank on Market Street and acted as though he had a gun. Police said the cashier didn’t see a weapon, but she said the robber made a gesture indicating he had one.

After leaving the bank with an estimated $2,500, the suspect reportedly got into a vehicle driven by a female with dark hair. Two male passengers were in the back seat.

The suspect is described as a white man having dark hair and is roughly 5-feet 8-inches tall and weighs 145 pounds. He was wearing a red bandanna and dark sunglasses, a gray coat trimmed in black, faded blue jeans and black gloves.