By MARGIE WUEBKER
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
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
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.