Cops find money in suspected robber's truck

Cary Ashby • Feb 24, 2013 at 8:39 AM

Police have recovered a large sum of money from the vehicle reportedly driven by an accused robber.

"The money was inside one of the jackets," Norwalk Police Detective Sgt. Jim Fulton said. "But the money was all from East Side Fuel."

The jacket in question was the one witnesses reported seeing Robert L. Jackson Jr. wearing at the scene of the robbery Saturday morning at the Firelands Federal Credit Union branch in Monroeville. Four clerks and a manager were working, but no customers were present during the offense reported about 11 a.m.

Fulton said there was money in PNC Bank deposit bags wrapped in one plastic East Side bag in a jacket in the truck.

"The bags were still intact. ... I think some of the money was missing," the detective said. "There were three deposits in the bags.

"He had one of the (East Side) clerks tear open each of the (deposit) bags to make sure there was money inside," Fulton said. "That's how it appeared on the (surveillance) video."

Fulton said a sizable amount of money was stolen from East Side on Monday. Police recovered money from the truck -- all from the gas station -- the next day while using a search warrant.

It's unknown how much money was stolen from Firelands. Monroeville Police Chief Gary Lyons hasn't disclosed the amount and he couldn't be reached for comment Wednesday.

Jackson, 52, of 1153 Peru Olena Road, is charged with robbery and theft in connection with the Firelands incident.

He also faces one count of aggravated robbery stemming from a Monday morning incident at East Side Fuel in Norwalk. Three clerks were working when the suspected crime was reported about 10 a.m.

"There were several customers in and out of there (at the time). I think there was one at the counter," Fulton said.

About the Monroeville robbery, Norwalk Assistant Law Director Scott Christophel said none of the Firelands clerks reported seeing a gun or hearing Jackson threaten to brandish one. But Christophel said the suspect "displayed the handle of the weapon" at East Side.

Police used a warrant Tuesday morning to search the green 1998 Ford Ranger pickup truck, which is registered to Jackson, a former Monroeville resident. Officers estimated they searched the truck -- reportedly seen at the Norwalk crime scene, but not in Monroeville -- for 3 1/2 hours.

Officers seized the following evidence: A small, blue plastic bag with suspected crack cocaine paraphernalia, two jackets, a fleece-like jacket, a sweater, cell phone, box of Swiss Rolls and a pack of cigarettes.

"They had that stuff laying on the counter," Fulton said about the Swiss Rolls and cigarettes.

Authorities arrested Jackson without incident about 9:30 p.m. Monday near the intersection of U.S. 20 and Ohio 58 in Oberlin.

After Norwalk police dispatchers kept track of the suspect's cell phone use, authorities had the Oberlin Police Department and troopers with the state Highway Patrol poised to arrest Jackson.

During the manhunt, the Huron County Sheriff's Office searched the area. Norwalk Police Chief Dave Light has said a Cleveland police officer assisted by "going to every location they could get a (cell phone) ping."

When asked about the Cleveland connection, Fulton said police suspect Jackson went to the city to buy crack cocaine and marijuana.

"Crack cocaine and marijuana were recovered on him at the time of his arrest," said Fulton, who also said police found more than $2,000 on Jackson.

Fulton and Detective Sgt. Seth Fry responded to the Marathon gas station in Oberlin, where they took custody of Jackson. The detectives then transported him to the Norwalk police station. Fulton suspected Jackson "was coming down from being under the influence" of some type of drug.

"He did not say very much before he invoked his right to an attorney," Fulton said. "He was quiet; he didn't say much of anything."

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