Wednesday, November 27th, 2013
Police capture Celina bank robbery suspect
By Margie Wuebker
CELINA - Local police on Tuesday afternoon apprehended a 22-year-old man wanted in connection with a robbery Nov. 15 at People's Bank.
Cody J. Maxwell, whose address is listed as at large, was taken into custody about 3:30 p.m. at the intersection of East Wayne Street and Myers Road. He was charged with robbery and theft and transported to the Mercer County Detention Center, where he remains jailed without bond.
Celina interim police chief Calvin Freeman said officers received a tip that Maxwell was on his way back to town. The caller reportedly described possible vehicles the suspect might be using and the likely direction of travel.
An officer in an unmarked vehicle reportedly spotted one of the vehicles with at least two occupants inside. Upon confirming Maxwell as a passenger, the officer summoned help and three cruisers converged on the scene.
"We wanted to make sure the traffic stop was made in a safe area away from homes," Freeman said.
Neither Maxwell nor the unidentified driver offered any resistance, he added.
"Officers found a toy handgun on Maxwell's person," the interim chief said. "At this time we do not know whether that was the same gun he brought into the bank."
A search of the vehicle turned up drug paraphernalia and suspected heroin. Authorities did not elaborate on other items recovered from the vehicle or whether they may be linked to the bank robbery.
The driver was detained for a short time but not arrested.
Freeman said the completed report will be turned over to Mercer County Prosecutor Matt Fox for review and possible charges.
"At this point we are looking at other parties involved in the robbery or in helping the suspect get away," he added.
Authorities initially believed Maxwell had left the area and received help from others to avoid capture.
Maxwell reportedly entered the bank at 309 W. Logan St. shortly before 2:15 p.m. Nov. 15, demanded money from a teller and indicated he had a weapon. The unidentified teller complied with the demand and the suspect reportedly fled on foot with an undetermined amount of cash. Authorities believe the robber was picked up at some point by a silver/gray minivan.
Officers initiated an immediate search and were joined by Sgt. Kyle Dues of the Coldwater Police Department and his K-9 unit Mojo. They were unable to track the suspect.
Federal Bureau of Investigation agents from Lima assisted local authorities. Other agencies assisting police were the Mercer County Sheriff's Office, Coldwater Police, St. Marys Police, Grand Lake Task Force, Butler Township Police near Dayton, Huber Heights Police, and New Castle Police and the Henry County Sheriff's Office, both in Indiana.
Police also are checking out the possibility Maxwell was the perpetrator of a September armed robbery at Eastown Party Mart, 701 Grand Lake Road. The suspect in that case was described as a white male approximately 6 feet tall. He reportedly entered the business and remained there for a short time before heading to the attached drive-thru.
Once inside, the suspect allegedly displayed a knife and demanded money from the cash register. The male clerk complied and the thief fled on foot through an overhead door, a report noted.
The theft at Eastown occurred just before the business closed for the night when no customers were in the drive-thru. Authorities have not released the amount of money taken.