Bridgeport bank robber still at large

BRIDGEPORT — Police still are following up on leads in the hope of finding the suspect in the latest robbery of a Bridgeport bank.

At about 9:15 a.m. June 7, officers were dispatched to an armed robbery call at the Unified Bank on Howard Street in Bridgeport. The suspect was described as a heavyset man with graying hair, wearing a red button down shirt and a black baseball cap. He used a handgun to threaten the tellers at the bank while demanding money from them. He got away either on foot or in a vehicle with an undisclosed amount of cash.

Bridgeport Police Chief John Bumba this week said his department has been following up on leads called into his department, but the suspect has not been found at this time.

“We’ve not had very many tips at all,” Bumba said. “We’ve got leads we’re working on.”

In addition to Bridgeport, officers from Martins Ferry, Bellaire, the Belmont County Sheriff’s Department and the Ohio State Highway Patrol searched the area around the bank for the suspect.

Bumba said the FBI is not involved with the investigation. He noted the last three times this particular bank has been robbed, all the suspects have been found and charged.

Since this bank location has been targeted frequently by robbers, some area residents have wondered if the bank has taken any extra precautions to try and prevent such situations. For example, some banks keep their doors locked and require walk-in customers to be buzzed in.

Bumba said he has made suggestions in the past, but he declined to specify what those suggestions were.

“After the last robbery I made suggestions, but it’s entirely up to the company,” he said.

Unified Bank officials could not be reached for comment Monday.

Those with information regarding the robbery can call the Bridgeport Police Department at 740-635-9999.