BETHELHEM - An armed man dressed all in black entered the United Bank branch office in Bethlehem shortly before 11 a.m. today and demanded money.
Bethlehem Police, West Virginia State Police and Ohio County Sheriff's Department deputies were on scene within minutes and closed the area around the bank. A woman was seen being interviewed by a sheriff's deputy shortly after the robbery. No injuries were reported.
At press time it was not known how much money the robber got away with or if he acted alone. Reportedly the man fled in a red car heading toward Interstate 470, but the direction of travel was unknown.
Photo by John McCabe
Police respond to the United Bank in Bethlehem after an armed man robbed the bank shortly before 11 a.m. today.
The suspect is described as a white male, about 5 feet, 8 inches tall, wearing black pants, a long-sleeve black shirt and a black ski mask. He reportedly was carrying a handgun when he entered the bank.
Nearby Bethlehem School was placed in lockdown after the robbery.
Today's robbery marks the third bank robbery within the past few 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. He also was a white male. He was dressed in a green hooded sweatshirt, light pants and black glasses. In that case, the robber exited the bank and was last seen jumping a fence near a lot behind the bank and then fleeing toward Market Street.
Wheeling Police Chief Schwertfeger said the thief got away with an unspecified amount of money. To date, the robber has not been caught.
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. According to Wheeling police Sgt. Rusty Jewel, the cashier was unable to tell whether the suspect had a gun.
The suspect was described as a white man with dark hair who stands 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. That robbery suspect also remains at large.