Alert action by members of the Portsmouth Police Department has resulted in the arrest of a suspect minutes after a bank robbery occurred. Deon Crawford, 42, of Portsmouth has been charged with one count of aggravated robbery, a felony of the first degree.
Portsmouth Police Chief Robert Ware lauded the efforts of his patrol shift in apprehending the suspect Friday morning. Ware said the officers were responding to a robbery at Citizen’s Bank, 507 Chillicothe St., which was reported at 9:07 a.m. when an alert officer, Corey Fischer, observed a male that matched the physical description, which was broadcasted by responding officers, walking across the Kroger parking lot. Ware said the suspect had attempted to distract attention by removing his black shirt. When Fischer attempted to make contact with the suspect, he said the suspect fled by forcing open a door at the Alexandria House and jumping the fence.
With the assistance of officers Bruce Barney, Tiffany Hedrick, and Mike Queen, Fischer was able to apprehend the suspect behind the Salvation Army.
“It was a great team effort this morning,” Ware said. “Had it not been for the detailed description broadcast by Officer Gabe Metzler, the suspect could have succeeded in eluding capture.”
Ware said the suspect was positively identified by bank employees as the person who handed the teller a note, demanded money and told the teller he had a gun, although a gun was never displayed. Officers recovered all the money, the note and the black shirt they say was discarded at Kroger.
Crawford is on parole from the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections. Ware said anyone with additional information on this case can call the lead investigator, Chris Kelley, at 740-354-1600.
Reach Frank Lewis at 740-353-3101, ext. 1928, or on Twitter @franklewis.