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The Daily



12-15-03: Arrest made for Chickasaw robbery


A Greenville man was arrested this morning in connection with an armed robbery Oct. 20 at the Osgood State Bank in Chickasaw.
Matthew C. Baker, 36, 1169 N. Middle Drive, Greenville, was taken into custody around 10 a.m. by detectives from the Mercer County Sheriff’s Office. He faces a first-degree felony charge of aggravated robbery.
A lone male suspect, brandishing a gun, entered the 79 W. Franklin St. bank around noon and demanded money from a female teller. She complied and was ordered to lie down on the floor while the robber made his getaway with more than $2,000 in cash. There were no customers inside at the time.
Surveillance cameras inside the bank picked up three fairly good views of the suspect. One showed him standing at the counter while another offered a side view. The third captured him pointing a finger at something just prior to exiting the building.
Numerous leads from people residing in the Chickasaw area aided the course of the investigation. Initially, there were reports of a car bearing Kansas license plates seen in the community around the time of the robbery. Celina Police tracked down the car within two days and it was determined the occupant had no involvement.
Reports of a gray Toyota pickup truck seen in that area Oct. 20 proved more promising. Initially, Baker told investigators he was not familiar with the community. However, they determined the statement was not true because he had conducted business there, according to Wright.
“Credit must be given to the people of the Chickasaw area,” Mercer County Sheriff Jeff Grey told The Daily Standard this morning. “They were alert and willingly gave us information about things that seemed unusual that day. Deputies, detectives and local police officers tracked down each lead.”
Grey also credited the work done by detectives Pat Elking and Kip Wright during the ensuing investigation.
“I am really proud of the work they did,” Grey said. “Usually bank robbers are caught after committing several robberies, but Elking and Wright worked diligently, tracked down numerous leads and sought assistance from other agencies when needed. That is true teamwork.”
The teamwork involved working closely with detectives from the Darke County Sheriff’s Office as well as the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation and Identification, the Celina Police Department and the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office. Working on their first bank robbery, Wright and Elking reportedly received “critical advice” from the Lima office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, according to Grey.
Baker, who is reportedly employed in the construction field, was booked into the Mercer County Jail before lunchtime today. No appearance has been scheduled as yet in Celina Municipal Court.
Bank robberies are infrequent occurrences here in Mercer County, according to Wright. He believes previous ones occurred in Mendon in the mid-1970s and in Fort Recovery in the early 1980s.
Osgood State Bank purchased the Chickasaw location earlier this year and reopened not long before the robbery. Bank president Roland “Brownie” Thobe said a previous robbery took place back in 1971 at the bank’s Osgood headquarters.


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P.O. Box 140, Celina, OH 45822