Police: Bank suspect called in Elyria HS bomb threat

ELYRIA -- Police say the same man who allegedly robbed the Dollar Bank Monday morning was the one who called in a bomb threat to Elyria High School.

Just after 11 a.m. Monday, officers were sent to the Dollar Bank at 1500 West River Road N. in reference to a bank robbery.

Responding officers were advised that a white man in a gray hooded sweatshirt and dark pants had just robbed the bank. Bank personnel advised officers that the man entered the building from the rear entrance.

With his hood pulled tight around his face, he approached a teller and handed her a note. The note indicated that he was robbing the bank. No weapon was displayed and he made no verbal statements to the teller.

After receiving an undisclosed amount of money, he fled on foot through the rear doors.

A short time after officers arrived on scene, Elyria police dispatch received a call from a citizen reporting a suspicious man walking in the area of Aaron's at 335 Midway Blvd.

Once in the area, detectives located a man walking on 49th Street near Moran Street. He matched the general description of the subject involved in the bank robbery. A large amount of U.S. currency was also located in his pants pocket.

He was identified as Brett L. Benson, 40, of Avon, and taken to the Elyria Police Department, where he was interviewed by detectives.

Followup investigation revealed that he was not only responsible for today's Dollar Bank Robbery, but he was also responsible for the bank robbery at Talmer Bank & Trust at 111 Antioch Drive on March 19.

Detectives also developed evidence indicating that Benson was responsible for calling in a bomb threat to Elyria High School just after 10 a.m. Monday.

Police evacuated students while the building was searched, nothing was found, and students were allowed to return to class at 11:30 a.m.

As a result of the investigation, Benson was charged with two counts of aggravated robbery and one count of inducing panic. Benson is currently being held at the Lorain County Jail on no bond pending an appearance in Elyria Municipal Court.


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