The Citizens Bank robbed

BRIDGEPORT – For the third time in a little more than two years, the Citizens Bank on Howard Street in the village has been held up.

Police are releasing little details about the early morning robbery, except that they are looking for a male subject who was said to be wearing a black leather jacket with a blue hoodie. He reportedly had a black ski mask on and was wearing black shoes.

Law enforcement officials from all over Belmont County converged on the bank, located at the corner of Howard and DeKalb streets, shortly after 9 a.m.

Dozens of uniformed officers from Bellaire, Bridgeport, Martins Ferry, Powhatan Point and Shadyside joined troopers from the Ohio Highway Patrol and deputies from the Belmont County Sheriff’s Office in scouring the Kirkwood neighborhood, along with the Bridgeport Manor housing complex, the area around Gould Park and an area near the basketball courts on South Lincoln Avenue.

Some officers were seen driving through the neighborhood, while others were seen walking down streets and through alleys and yards searching for any type of evidence.

As of noon, the suspect had not been caught.

At one point, officers surrounded on a house on Howard Street, some three blocks west of the bank. However, no one was apprehended. At another point, several cruisers rushed to a white van spotted on Jacquette Street, but that wasn’t the vehicle they were seeking, either.

The investigation is ongoing.

One police officer said the bank’s proximity is a likely reason is has been targeted so often.

“It’s so close to Interstate 70, Ohio 7 south, Kirkwood Heights Road and the bridge leading to Wheeling Island,” he said.

At about the same type the robbery was reported, a bomb threat was reported on the Bridgeport Schools campus.

Authorities have not yet determined if the two were related.