A man accused of committing two robberies in less than 48 hours entered a "not guilty" plea to seven felonies Tuesday.
Robert L. Jackson Jr., 52, of Monroeville, must post a $185,000 bond before being released from the Huron County Jail. His Huron County Common Pleas Court trial is scheduled for May 7.
He is charged with three counts of robbery and two charges each of burglary and theft in connection with incidents at Firelands Credit Union in Monroeville and East Side Fuel in Norwalk.
Before the Monroeville incident, Jackson is accused of trying to get behind the counter of the Firelands branch on Cleveland Road in Norwalk.
Huron County Prosecutor Russell Leffler has said Jackson "got scared off because there were so many people in the bank." When he was approached by a clerk, the suspect "made a fake call to his fake wife" and made up a story about attempting to get behind the counter to retrieve a checkbook he lost during a supposed transaction at the drive-thru.
In Monroeville, four clerks and a manager were working, but no customers were present during the Feb. 16 incident.
"He went behind the counter, stood right next to her, told her he meant business and to open the drawer," Leffler said.
Authorities haven't released the amount of money stolen, but Jackson's indictment, which was issued Friday, indicates the value was between $1,000 and $7,500.
Police have estimated Jackson stole $20,000 from East Side Fuel.
The Norwalk Police Department used a search warrant to recover more than $12,000 from a jacket Jackson was seen wearing during the Feb. 18 incident. The cash was in PNC Bank deposit bags wrapped in one plastic East Side bag. The evidence was in a 1998 Ford Ranger pickup truck, which could be forfeited to the state.
"He had one of the clerks tear open each of the (deposit) bags to make sure there was money inside," Detective Sgt. Jim Fulton said after using the warrant. "That's how it appeared on the (surveillance) video."
Authorities arrested Jackson without incident about 9:30 p.m. Feb. 18 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 him.
Jackson has earlier robbery convictions, one of which was from 1982. His recent indictment comes with the specification that the suspect is a "repeat violent offender."
He served 15 1/2 years at the Lorain Correctional Institution for robbery and aggravated robbery. The convictions were for an incident at TJ's Bar on Jefferson Street.
"He placed some people in the freezer," Leffler said. "In that set of circumstances, he fled the area to Nevada."
Jackson was released from prison Feb. 2, 2012.