A Kent man has been arrested and charged with aggravated robbery in Thursday's incident at FirstMerit Bank on S.R. 59 in Franklin Township -- his ninth criminal charge, but first felony arrest by Portage County law enforcement since April 2010.
Andrew G. Knechtle, 25, with a last known address of 133 Brady St., was arrested Tuesday and charged with a first-degree felony. Portage County Sheriff David Doak said Kent and Kent State University police assisted deputies in the investigation and arrest, and thanked them for their assistance.
Knechtle allegedly entered the bank at 1729 S.R. 59 at approximately 3:45 p.m. Thursday and passed a note to a teller indicating he had a gun, according to Doak. He was wearing dark clothing, a cap, a multi-colored scarf and sunglasses.
No one was injured in the incident. Knechtle then allegedly fled eastbound toward the Campus Pointe apartment complex with an undisclosed amount of money, changed clothing and got on a bike to make his getaway.
"During the follow up investigation, Knechtle was identified as a person of interest. Detectives were able to locate Knechtle and he has been cooperating in the investigation," Doak said in announcing the arrest.
Knechtle is being held without bond in the Portage County jail in Shalersville. He will be arraigned on the robbery charges at 1:15 p.m. today in Portage County Municipal Court in Ravenna, according to Doak.
Knechtle's Facebook page lists him as a North Olmsted High School graduate, says he studied at KSU and works for a market research firm. He has been arrested or charged with crimes at least eight times by Kent or KSU police since April 2010.
Portage County court records indicate Knechtle has a prior conviction for first-degree misdemeanor receiving stolen property from December 2012, in a case in which he possessed a laptop computer reported stolen from inside the Kent Student Center cafeteria at KSU on July 10, 2012. He also was convicted on three counts of criminal trespass for being inside the Kent Student Center without permission on March 4 and March 15 and inside the College Towers apartment complex in Kent without permission on April 2, according to court records.
Knechtle also has a conviction for first-degree misdemeanor falsification in February 2011 and one for violating Kent's unlawful noise ordinance in September 2012. Additional cases of misdemeanor falsification and drug possession were dismissed in municipal court by the Portage County Prosecutor's Office after Knechtle pleaded guilty to other crimes.
In several of the cases, municipal court judges ordered Knechtle to pay fines, do community service and also to get substance abuse evaluations or counseling, records show.
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