UPDATE: Ripley Man Pleads Guilty to Meigs County Bank Robbery

By: Brooks Jarosz; WSAZ News Staff Email
By: Brooks Jarosz; WSAZ News Staff Email

UPDATE 10/1/13
POMEROY, Ohio (WSAZ) -- The man charged with robbing a Meigs County bank now faces 8 years in jail after pleading guilty to the crime.

Chad Rennicker, 25, of Ripley, W.Va. was charged with 6 counts of kidnapping and one count of aggravated robbery in connection with the robbery of the Farmers Bank in Tuppers Plains, Ohio, on May 30.

Rennicker was arrested at an apartment in Ripley several days following the robbery. Investigators say some of the money from the robbery was found in that apartment.

Rennicker pleaded guilty to the charges Monday in Meigs County Common Pleas Court.

Prosecutor Colleen Williams tells WSAZ.com the kidnapping charges were merged into the aggravated robbery charge for 8 year sentence.

Rennicker is also wanted out of Belmont County, Ohio, in connection with his guilty plea in a bank robbery there.

Authorities say Rennicker and his brother, Brock, 26, of Dover, Ohio, robbed the Colerain PNC Bank in May 2012.

In April, Chad Rennicker pleaded guilty to 3rd degree robbery and sentenced to 43 months of community service. A warrant for his arrest was issued following the Meigs County robbery.

Williams says he now faces a 3 year sentence for that crime.



UPDATE 6/18/13 @ 3:38 p.m.
POMEROY, Ohio (WSAZ) -- The man charged with robbing a Meigs County bank last month has been indicted on aggravated robbery and multiple kidnapping charges.

A Meigs County Grand Jury indicted Chad Rennicker, 25, of Ripley, West Virginia, Monday.

The indictment charges Rennicker with six counts of kidnapping and one count of aggravated robbery in connection with the robbery of the Farmers Bank in Tuppers Plains, Ohio, on May 30.

Following the robbery, deputies say Rennicker took off with his girlfriend, Michaela Fritz, in her dad’s stolen car.

Less than three days after the robbery, Rennicker was arrested at an apartment in Ripley.

Deputies say some of the money from the robbery was found in that apartment.

Meigs County Prosecutor Coleen Williams tells WSAZ.com that Rennicker used a painted water gun in the robbery.

At this time, court records do not indicate an arraignment date.

Rennicker is also wanted out of Belmont County, Ohio, in connection with his guilty plea in a bank robbery there.

Authorities say Rennicker and his brother, Brock, 26, of Dover, Ohio, robbed the Colerain PNC Bank in May 2012.

Published reports say the brothers were arrested about a month later at an apartment following a five hour standoff with SWAT members, and that they used a fake gun in that robbery.

In April, Chad Rennicker pleaded guilty to 3rd degree robbery and sentenced to 43 months of community service. A warrant for his arrest was issued following the Meigs County robbery.

Rennicker is being held in the Washington County Jail.

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



UPDATE 6/10/13 @ 3:40 p.m.
POMEROY, Ohio (WSAZ) -- The man charged with robbing a Meigs County bank last month was arraigned on kidnapping and aggravated robbery charges Monday afternoon.

Chad Rennicker, 25, of Ripley, W.Va., waived extradition and was returned to Meigs County after being arrested in Ripley.

Investigators say Rennicker held up the Farmers Bank in Tuppers Plains, Ohio on May 30.

Following the robbery, deputies say Rennicker took off with his girlfriend, Michaela Fritz, in her dad’s stolen car.

Less than three days after the robbery, Rennicker was arrested at an apartment in Ripley.

Deputies say money from the robbery, along with items they bought, were found in that apartment.

During Monday afternoon’s hearing in Meigs Municipal Court, Rennicker’s bond was set at $500,000, 10% cash.

Rennicker is charged with six counts of kidnapping and one count of aggravated robbery in connection with the bank robbery.

A preliminary hearing is set for Thursday.

Rennicker is being held in Washington County Jail.

Fritz was charged with aiding and abetting.



UPDATE 6/3/13 @ 7:10 p.m.
JACKSON COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Less than three days after a robber held up a bank, a suspect is behind bars.

Chad Rennicker was arrested in Ripley, W.Va. He was wanted in Belmont County Court in Ohio for six robberies, but he didn't show up.

However, the sheriff in Meigs County tells WSAZ.com Rennicker did show up to the Farmers Bank Branch in Tuppers Plains to get some cash. He's accused of robbing three tellers at gunpoint.

"I was scared to death," one witness said. "I knew my sister was working today."

Deputies say Rennicker took off with his girlfriend, Michaela Fritz. The pair stole her dad's car, according to deputies.

They were seen in Charleston spending money and caught on camera at several business in Ripley. Law enforcement agencies worked together following the money trail and tips.

"The social media was just a tremendous help with us on this getting this information out, getting some pictures out," Meigs County Sheriff Keith Wood said. "The Facebooking it, you know that was one of the popular things that helped us actually draw some attention to where they were."

The sheriff's department posted pictures, descriptions and license plate numbers on its Facebook wall in hopes of tracking them down or generating leads.

One lead led deputies in Jackson County, W.Va., to pull over a car. Those inside took them to Wedgewood Apartments where deputies were told the pair was hiding.

"Combined again with good old fashion police work, it began with following up leads that Meigs County had already come over with," Jackson County Sheriff Tony Boggs said. "The guys were kind of shaking the bushes, so to speak."

Deputies surrounded apartment E, but Rennicker fell into their lap two doors down. He tried to escape through the attic but he was trapped and crashed through the ceiling.

Rennicker and his girlfriend were both cuffed, charged and taken to jail.

Deputies say money from the robbery in Meigs County along with items they bought were found in that apartment.

Rennicker was charged with robbery. Fritz was charged with aiding and abetting.

Three others were arrested during the manhunt. Deputies went to Timothy and Bethany McClain's home in Ravenswood. They say they found a marijuana growing operation. The McClains were arrested on drug charges. Shannon Rose was arrested for obstructing officers, all while they tried to search her home in Ripley for the fugitives.

Sheriff's deputies in Jackson, Meigs and Kanawha counties were part of the manhunt, along with SWAT teams and several city police departments.



UPDATE 6/2/13 @ 3 p.m.
JACKSON COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- An accused bank robber from Meigs County, Ohio was captured in Jackson County, West Virginia.

Chad Rennicker was arrested in connection with the robbery of the Farmers Bank branch in Tuppers Plains, Ohio on Thursday. Deputies in Jackson County found him in an apartment in Ripley.

Michaela Fritz, who was reported missing and endangered from Stark County, Ohio, was also found and arrested.

The Meigs County Sheriff tells WSAZ.com Rennicker was on the run for 56 hours and attributes the quick capture to cooperation between several law enforcement agencies.

Rennicker was charged with second degree robbery and could face other charges, according to law enforcement officials.

In total, six people were arrested last night in connection to Rennicker. More information is expected to be released Monday morning.

Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest information.



UPDATE 6/1/13 @ 9:15 a.m.
MEIGS COUNTY, Ohio (WSAZ) -- The Meigs County Sheriff's Office has identified the man accused of a robbing a bank in the county on Thursday.

According to the Sheriff's Office, Chad Rennicker is the suspect in the armed robbery at Farmers Bank in Tuppers Plains, Ohio. It happened around 3:50 Thursday afternoon.

The Sheriff says Friday, deputies from Meigs County, along with the Jackson County West Virginia Sheriff's Office, Ripley Police Department, and the Kanawha County Sheriff's Office SWAT Team executed a search warrant at Rennicker's mother's home on Grasslick Road in Ripley. Rennicker was not at the residence when the warrant was executed.

He was last seen in Ripley driving a stolen green four-door Dodge Stratus with Ohio registration FOY2606. It was stolen from Perry Township, in Stark County, Ohio.

He is also believed to be with Michaela Jean Fritz, who was reported missing and endangered from Stark County, Ohio. The vehicle they are in was stolen from Fritz's father.

Rennicker is also wanted out of Belmont County, Ohio. He was sentenced in May on armed robbery charges, but failed to turn himself in to serve his sentence.

If anyone has any information on the whereabouts of Rennicker or Fritz, contact the Meigs County Sheriff's Office at 740-992-3371.

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



UPDATE 5/31/13
MEIGS COUNTY, Ohio (WSAZ) -- Deputies are still looking for a man they say robbed a bank in Tuppers Plains, Ohio.

According to Meigs County Sheriff's Office dispatchers, the Farmers Bank on State Route 7 in Tuppers Plains was robbed about 3:50 p.m. Thursday.

Friday, the Meigs County Sheriff was driving around town handing out fliers with a picture of the robbery suspect in hopes of someone recognizing the suspect.

According to the Sheriff's Office, the man took off from the bank possibly driving an older model red or maroon four-door car.

If you have any information about the robbery, please call the Meigs County Sheriff's Office.

Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest information.

Farmers Bank President & CEO Paul Reed released the following statement about Thursday's robbery:

"First and foremost, I want to emphasize that our main priority is the safety and well-being of our Farmers Bank employees and customers. We are grateful that no one was hurt. Now I just hope for peace of mind for all involved.

"You never want something like this to happen, but we diligently train employees to handle situations like this. I commend our Tuppers Plains staff for following procedures to ensure everyone was safe.

"We have been working closely with local authorities since the incident occurred and we thank them for their immediate response and continued ongoing investigation efforts."



ORIGINAL STORY
MEIGS COUNTY, Ohio (WSAZ) -- Deputies are on the scene of a bank robbery in Tuppers Plains, Ohio.

According to Meigs County Sheriff's Office dispatchers, the Farmers Bank on State Route 7 in Tuppers Plains was robbed about 3:50 p.m. Thursday.

The man was dressed in all black during the armed robbery, according to the Sheriff's Office.

Deputies are at the bank currently investigating the incident.

The Sheriff's Office is asking everyone to avoid the area until a perimeter can be set up to continue the search.

If you have any information about the robbery, please call the Meigs County Sheriff's Office.

We have a crew on the way to the scene.

Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest information.


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