by Aaron Gibson, March 21, 2016
A man convicted of robbing more than $4,600 from the First State Bank in Ripley was sentenced to prison on Friday, March 18 in Brown County Common Pleas Court.
Judge Scott Gusweiler handed convicted First State Bank robber Shane Patrick a four-year prison sentence, with 103 days credit for jail time already served, and a mandatory three years of post release control. Gusweiler said the court may eventually consider Patrick to be allowed judicial release into the STAR Program.
Patrick had previously accepted a plea deal on Feb. 26 admitting guilt to one count of second-degree felony robbery. The remaining charges of third-degree felony robbery and fifth-degree felony theft were dismissed.
Gusweiler also ordered Patrick to pay First State Bank approximately $4,627 in restitution for cash he allegedly robbed from one of the bank’s tellers on Nov. 30, 2015.
On the morning of Nov. 30, the Brown County Communications Center received a 911 call at 11:19 a.m. from the teller who said a man, later identified as Patrick, had approached her counter, showed a gun tucked beneath his shirt and said, “Give me all you’ve got.”
The teller said Patrick was wearing a blue vinyl backpack and had left the bank with an estimated $5,300 in cash. She said the hood on Patrick’s sweatshirt was pulled down to his eyes and a bandana draped his face, rendering him unrecognizable.
According to Corporal Joel Barnett of the Ripley Police Department, Patrick was allegedly spotted by witnesses fleeing the 101 E. Main St. bank northward through an alleyway.
Chris Van Harlingen prosecuted Patrick for the robbery. She said Patrick became a suspect early on in the investigation.
According to Van Harlingen, on the day of the robbery, a neighbor alerted police to suspicious behavior by Patrick in his backyard. Police investigated and recovered a handgun in the yard, which turned out to be fake, as well as a bandana and pair of boots matching that of the robber.
A sweatshirt recovered from the cab of Patrick’s truck matched the sweatshirt worn by the perpetrator, which police confirmed through surveillance footage taped inside of the bank during the robbery.
“Then when they went to talk with him, he was gone,” Van Harlingen said.
Police sent the recovered clothing and imitation handgun for DNA and fingerprint analysis at a crime lab ran by the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation, Barnett said.
On Dec. 4, five days after the robbery, a warrant was issued for Patrick’s arrest, and within a few days he was apprehended at an Amelia apartment complex.
Patrick was questioned and confessed to the robbery, but none of the cash stolen from First State Bank has been recovered.
“In his statement to police, he said that they spent it on hotel rooms and food,” according to Van Harlingen, who said she also believes a portion of the money was used to pay a debt.
Van Harlingen said when the grand jury met on Dec. 17, Patrick was not indicted on an aggravated robbery charge because the handgun was fake.
Aggravated robbery would have been a first-degree felony with a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison. “Aggravated robbery requires a deadly weapon and this was a fake gun…so it’s not a deadly weapon,” she said.
Patrick faced up to 8 years in prison, a $15,000 fine and restitution as a result of the plea deal.
Before Patrick’s sentencing hearing wrapped up, Patrick said to Judge Gusweiler he would like to write a letter apologizing to the bank teller’s family. The teller has passed away since the robbery occurred.
—Brown County Crime Reporter, March 21, 2016 10:31 PM EST
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