UPDATE: Search Continues for Bank Robber

By: Kristen Schneider, Amanda Barren Email
By: Kristen Schneider, Amanda Barren Email
More Video...

UPDATE 8/22/14 @ 1 p.m.
RIPLEY, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- A helicopter is once again up in the air, searching for a suspect wanted in connection with a bank robbery in Ripley.

The robbery happened about 11:15 a.m. at Premier Bank in the 600-block of Church Street South.

Officers from several different law enforcement agencies are focusing on the area in and around Cedar Lakes Conference Center.

Investigators say they got a reliable tip that the suspect was seen Friday morning near Cedar Lake Drive, crossing a creek.

As a precaution, Cedar Lakes is under a lock down while they believe the suspect may be in the area. About 100 band members from Walnut High School in Cincinnati and about 60 students are attending a conference at Cedar Lakes.

Police say the lock down has been in place since Thursday, shortly after the bank robbery. During the lock down, no one is allowed in or out of the building.

Seven staff members at Cedar Lakes stayed Thursday night to help with the lock down procedures. Parents were also notified of the situation.

Meanwhile, four schools in Jackson County, W.Va. are also under the same lock down.

Blaine Hess, superintendent of Jackson County Schools, tells WSAZ.com the schools affected include, Fairplain Elementary, Ripley Elementary, Ripley Middle School and Ripley High School.

Hess says this was only a precautionary measure. The same four schools spent most of the day Thursday under lock down while investigators were on scene of the robbery.

On Thursday, investigators spent several hours looking for the man in a wooded area just down the street from the bank.

Police say the man was dressed in black clothing, wearing a black motorcycle helmet and carrying a tan bag when he robbed the bank with a gun.

The search shutdown several roads in Ripley for more than five hours Thursday.

We have a crew at the scene. Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest information.



UPDATW 8/22/14 @ 9:15 a.m.
RIPLEY, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Investigators are still looking for the man who they say robbed the Premier Bank in Ripley Thursday.

Blaine Hess, superintendent of Jackson County Schools, tells WSAZ.com as a precaution four schools were put back under lock down shortly after school started on Friday after he got a call the suspect may have been spotted along Cedar Lakes Drive.

The four schools affected include, Fairplain Elementary, Ripley Elementary, Ripley Middle School and Ripley High School.

Hess says this was only a precautionary measure.

Investigators from several departments were at the scene for several hours after they say a man dressed in black clothing, wearing a black motorcycle helmet and carrying a tan bag robbed the bank with a gun.

The search shutdown several roads in Ripley for more than five hours. The same four schools spent most of the day under lock down while investigators were on scene of the robbery.



UPDATE 8/21/14 @ 9 p.m.
RIPLEY, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- The intense search for a man who robbed the Premier Bank in Ripley has been called off for the evening.

Investigators have been on the scene since 11:30 Thursday morning when a man dressed in black clothing, wearing a black motorcycle helmet and carrying a tan bag robbed the bank with a gun.

Investigators were in the air and on the ground for several hours searching for the suspect.

The search shutdown several roads in Ripley for more than five hours. Area schools were on lockdown and had an escort from the Sheriff's Department when the students were finally allowed to leave.

Investigators say they are now going to local businesses to look through their surveillance video to try and figure out who the masked man is.

UPDATE 8/21/14 @ 5 p.m.
JACKSON COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Crews continue to search for a man accused of robbing a bank at gunpoint Thursday.

It happened about 11:15 a.m. at Premier Bank in the 600-block of Church Street South in Ripley.

First Sgt. O.S. Starsick with the West Virginia State Police says the "masked gunman" was dressed in black clothing, wearing a black motorcycle helmet and carrying a tan bag. The suspect was armed with a handgun.

After getting away with money, the suspect ran into the woods off Route 21.

Route 21 and Ripley Road, on the Cedar Lakes side, were both shut down for 4-5 hours Thursday as crews continued to search for the suspect.

"We had to shut down 21 just for the simple safety of the public, especially with a daycare next door. We didn't want to take any chances with him still on foot and he was believed to be in the immediate area," Sgt. Starsick told WSAZ.com.

West Virginia State Police, Ripley Police and the Jackson County Sheriff's Office were all on scene. They had crews in the woods, as well as a helicopter searching the area. The helicopter had to be called off due to bad weather.

Several schools were placed on a precautionary lockdown following the robbery.

Students were released from the schools around 3 p.m. The buses were escorted by deputies until they got out of the area.

One mother told WSAZ.com, "That makes me feel safe that they're prepared and they're on lockdown but the fact that I can't get to them it scares me a little that I can't get to them and they can't get to me."

Schools in the area had a lockdown drill just Wednesday, so they could be prepared for instances like this.

Businesses in the area were also shut down, or put on lockdown while Route 21 was closed. Robin Villers with Real Estate Central told WSAZ.com, "I'm a little worried because it's a huge space with lots of places to hide. But this many hours after the event, I'm hoping he's probably far from here."

The bank was closed for the remainder of Thursday. No word if the bank will reopen Friday.

WVSP are still following tips to determine if this is a suspect they have had run ins with in the past.

WVSP released surveillance photos of the suspect. Check out the photo gallery above and see if you recognize the suspect.

We have several crews still on scene.

Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest on this story.



UPDATE 8/21/14 @ 3:35 p.m.
JACKSON COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Several roads remain closed in Ripley following an armed bank robbery Thursday morning.

The robbery happened about 11:15 a.m. at Premier Bank in the 600-block of Church Street South.

Several schools in the area were on a precautionary lockdown throughout the day.

Students were released from school after 3 p.m., with a police escort.

Crews on the scene say that all buses will run, except the second run of Bus 32. The students who ride that bus will need to be picked up by their parents.

West Virginia State Police say the suspect was dressed in black clothing, wearing a black motorcycle helmet and carrying a tan bag. They released photos of the suspect Thursday afternoon. Check out the slideshow above to see those suspect photos.

Jackson County 911 Dispatch tells WSAZ.com the roads that remain closed are expected to reopen around 4 p.m.

We have several crews on the scene.

Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest on this story.



UPDATE 8/21/14 @ 1 p.m.
JACKSON COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- West Virginia State Police have launched helicopters to help search for a suspect in an armed bank robbery.

The robbery was reported at Premier Bank in the 600-block of Church Street South in Ripley shortly before 11:30 a.m. Thursday.

Several roads have been closed as crews search for the suspect.

West Virginia State Police say the suspect was dressed in black clothing, wearing a black motorcycle helmet and carrying a tan bag.

They say he was armed with a gun and was last seen running south on Mill Creek.

Blaine Hess, superintendent of Jackson County Schools, tells WSAZ.com as a precaution four schools are currently under lock down. Hess says the schools include, Fairplain Elementary, Ripley Elementary, Ripley Middle School and Ripley High School.

Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest on this story.



ORIGINAL STORY 8/21/14 @ 11:37 a.m.
JACKSON COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- A bank robbery has been reported in Jackson County, West Virginia.

Dispatchers tell WSAZ.com the robbery was reported at Premier Bank in the 600-block of Church Street South in Ripley.

Right now, deputies have Church Street South closed in the area of the bank. They say they believe the suspect is still in the area.

West Virginia State Police say the suspect was dressed in black clothing, wearing a black motorcycle helmet and carrying a tan bag. They say he was armed with a gun and was last seen running south on Mill Creek.

Blaine Hess, superintendent of Jackson County Schools, tells WSAZ.com as a precaution four schools are currently under lock down. Hess says the schools include, Fairplain Elementary, Ripley Elementary, Ripley Middle School and Ripley High School.

No other information has been released.

We have a crew headed to the scene.

Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest information.


Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
powered by Disqus
WSAZ NewsChannel 3 645 Fifth Avenue Huntington, WV 25701 304-697-4780 WSAZ Charleston 111 Columbia Avenue Charleston, WV 25302 304-344-3521
Gray Television, Inc. - Copyright © 2002-2014 - Designed by Gray Digital Media - Powered by Clickability 272161941 - wsaz.com/a?a=272161941