Robbery suspect arrested

By Frank Lewis - [email protected]

The Portsmouth Police Department says a surveillance footage photo of the man who robbed Subway Restaurant located at 1110 Gay Street in Portsmouth Tuesday (Feb. 22), resulted in a response of the public following the press release and that led to the identity of a suspect.

Thomas O’Brien, 44, of Portsmouth has been arrested and charged with robbery, a second-degree felony. The report said the subject entered the Subway Restaurant and robbed the employees of cash from the cash register.

Portsmouth Police Department Operations Captain Lynn Brewer said the employee of the store who was the victim of the robbery, Tailor Bhavana, told officers that a man wearing grey sweat pants and a black-hooded sweatshirt entered the store, and approached the counter. Bhavana said that the man had something over his face to conceal his identity and that he kept one hand in his pocket the entire time leading her to believe that he had a weapon.

When the man reached the counter, he demanded Bhavana open the cash register and she complied. Bhavana said the man then reached into the cash register and grabbed the paper money from the register, then fled the store.

Andrew Craft, another employee who was working in the store said he was in the back of the store and heard Bhavana start screaming. Craft said he came out of the back and observed the male subject as he was taking the cash from the register before fleeing the store.

The Portsmouth Police Department issued a press release that contained a surveillance footage photo of the suspect and that photo was published in the Daily Times. Due to the response of the public following the press release, officers of the police department obtained the identity of the suspect.

On Saturday at about 6:30 p.m., officers of the Portsmouth Police Department located O’Brien at a residence in the 2200 block of Seventh Street and arrested him for the robbery.

O’Brien was taken to the police station where he was interviewed by Detective Chuck Crapyou about the robbery. Brewer said O’Brien told Crapyou that he had a substance abuse problem and needed the money so he robbed the Subway store.

O’Brien was arraigned in Portsmouth Municipal Court Monday morning on a charge of robbery. The case will then be presented to the Scioto County grand jury where additional charges could be presented.

A charge of a second-degree felony carries a penalty of up to eight years in prison and possible fines of up to $15,000.

“We extend our deepest gratitude to those individuals in the city that came forward with the information that was critical in solving this crime,” Brewer said. “I’m sure it brings a great deal of relief to Tailor Bhavana and Andrew Craft to know that the man that robbed them is off the street.”

He said the department encourages anyone in the community who may have additional information involving the crime or any others they are working to solve to contact them at 740-354-1600 or 740-353-4101.

By Frank Lewis

[email protected]

Reach Frank Lewis at 740-353-3101, ext. 1928, or on Twitter @franklewis.

Reach Frank Lewis at 740-353-3101, ext. 1928, or on Twitter @franklewis.