Alleged robber caught in Calif.

ST. CLAIRSVILLE — The man suspected of a series of bank robberies in Maryland, Bridgeport and St. Clairsville was arrested last week in California.

Charles Gibson, 57, of Pennsylvania, is believed to have robbed the the Bridgeport Unified Bank on Nov. 24, then the Huntington Bank in St. Clairsville in mid-December.

In both Belmont County robberies, the suspect handed the teller a note demanding money. No weapon was shown during either incident.

According media reports from Pennsylvania, Gibson is the suspect in two Maryland bank robberies, at First United Bank in Friendsville, Maryland and the M&T Bank in Grantsville, Maryland. The Maryland robberies occurred after the Bridgeport crime, then at the St. Clairsville bank.

St. Clairsville Police Chief Jeff Henry said the Belmont County Sheriff’s office informed him of the apprehension. He said he expects the suspect to be extradicted to Belmont County after answering for the Maryland charges.

“He was captured Thursday at California, at … a homeless shelter,” Henry said. “As I understand, he’ll be extradicted first to Maryland, and Belmont County will get him next for the Bridgeport and (St. Clairsville crimes).”

Belmont County Sheriff David Lucas was contacted later Monday and confirmed via text that Gibson had been arrested in California.

Bridgeport Police Chief John Bumba could not be reached for comment.

The robber had been seen fleeing the St. Clairsville location, first on foot and then west on Interstate 70 by vehicle. Henry had said the car the suspect was driving had been reported stolen in Pennsylvania. Henry said the suspect apparently abandoned the vehicle near Quaker City, and evidence recovered from the car and photographs from the robberies suggest the same person committed the Maryland and Bridgeport robberies.

Since then, Gibson has been the subject of a search involving the FBI.