Kent man arrested for Franklin Township bank robbery on April 11

By Dave O'Brien | Staff Writer Published:

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.

Contact this reporter at 330-298-1128 or dobrien@recordpub.com

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  • I was still with andrew when he did this. It was the day before my birthday And I was held by the cops for eight hours on my birthday for questioning. The things he's done to other people are wrong and he looks bad on paper but he really is an awesome person he just has some issues just like every other person. I wish he would have talked to me first before the crime so I could've talked some sense into him. But it is what it is and for the people talking down on him I'm sorry you feel that way about him but I know how great of a person he can be he always treated me like a princess and ill always have his back.

  • wow i dated him back in 2010. was in love with the kid but he is an *** who, like the others said, will steal your wallet and be the first to offer to find it. this doesn't surprise me, glad i got out of that relationship!

  • i thought this guy was different. i loand him a pretty good amount of money not really knowing much about him. and i now know i will never see that money again. this guy is a straight up ***hole! i hope he goes to prison for a very long time. he deserves it.

  • Him and my girlfriend were friends/coworkers who texted from time to time. In late February he told her that a robber held him at gunpoint at an ATM and stole his credit card. He hassled her saying how his $250 rent was due and the bank refuses to let him access his bank account. He asked to borrow $250, promising to pay her back as soon as possible, and guilt tripped her into giving it to him. He tells her he will have the money back by April 4th. When questioned about how the money was coming along he would always make up wacky stories. The best one was his mother died and its really hard on him. A week later he slips and says he's with his mom in a text. April 4th starts getting very close so my girlfriend asks him if he really plans on paying her back, and he assures her that he will. That is until a few days before the due date he gets fired from the job because he stole another co workers credit card. He blocks my girlfriend from Facebook afterwards and stops responding to her texts. He is a criminal, a liar, and a thief. He deserves to go to jail. I don't really care who he was involved with in high school, but he made his own adult decisions to steal money, laptops, and credit cards from hard working people. No one influenced him to do that. Now he will finally get what's coming to him.

  • I went to high school with Andrew and was friends with him then. He's not a bad person. He got involved with the wrong crowds and never recovered from that. This story truly saddens me as I know he was better than this.

  • I read about this guy getting arrested LAST WEEK on facebook.

  • I agree with ians coment

  • This guy is a thief and drug user he is a worthless piece of **** I hope the put him away for a long time. I hope u have fun in the showers pretty boi in prison haha

  • He could be a clean cut kid if he just made a stop at Le Rasoir National.

  • I know him, he comes off as a really nice guy but is the type to steal your wallet then be the first one to volunteer to help you find it. He has done a lot of bad things and I am honestly happy to see he might be taken off the streets.

  • Prime example of not judging a book by its cover. This young man looks like a clean cut kid.

  • he's gonna make alot of new 'friends' in jail.

  • Do community service? He could do that best by dropping dead.