IRONTON — Police say a Gallipolis, Ohio, man told detectives he committed two Lawrence County bank robberies to support a drug habit, said Sheriff Jeff Lawless.
The sheriff’s office, Ironton police and the Lawrence County Drug and Major Crimes Task Force arrested Michael Wayne Crager, 38, of Ohio 218, Gallipolis, without incident at about 6:30 p.m. Aug. 17.
Crager is charged with the robbery of the PNC Bank at 110 S. 4th St., Ironton, on Tuesday. He also is charged with the robbery of the WesBanco Bank on Solida Road in South Point last June 23, Lawless said.
Ironton Municipal Judge O. Clark Collins set bond at $200,000 for Crager and appointed Ironton lawyer Michael Davenport to represent him. A preliminary hearing on the Ironton bank robbery charge is set for 9 a.m. Aug. 25.
Crager was also is scheduled to be in Lawrence County Municipal Court for an initial appearance on the South Point bank robbery charge, Lawless said.
A joint investigation by the sheriff’s office and Ironton police led investigators to the address of a relative of Crager’s at Private Drive 1699 where he was arrested, Lawless said.
There were similarities between the two bank robberies, according to the sheriff.
“We were able to get a better picture on a bank security camera, and the name of a suspect surfaced,” Lawless said. “Tips led us to where he was staying in the Mullinsville (Pine Grove) area.
“We’re pleased that we were able to make an arrest a day after the robbery,” Lawless said.
He declined to say how much of the money stolen was recovered. Lawless said Crager admitted using money from the South Point bank robbery to buy drugs.
This story is being used with permission from The (Huntington, W.Va.) Herald-Dispatch.