How police found a Hamilton man sentenced in 3 Warren County bank robberies

Mark Lunsford, 59, of Hamilton, plead guilty to three counts of robbery in Warren County and was sentenced to 10 years in prison. SUBMITTED PHOTO

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Mark Lunsford, 59, of Hamilton, plead guilty to three counts of robbery in Warren County and was sentenced to 10 years in prison. SUBMITTED PHOTO

Warren County Prosecutor David Fornshell attributed collaboration among several police departments to the arrest of the man who robbed three local banks since 2016 in Franklin, Springboro and Carlisle.

Mark Lunsford, 59, of Hamilton, pleaded guilty Monday to three counts of robbery, second-degree felonies, in front of Warren County Common Pleas Court Judge Timothy N. Tepe. He was sentenced to 10 years in prison. Lunsford also was ordered to pay $13,942 in restitution to Peoples Bank.

Lunsford was transferred Wednesday to state prison reception center in Orient, according to Warren County jail records.

“This investigation is a prime example of the ongoing collaboration we see on a regular basis from our local law enforcement agencies,” Fornshell said in the release. “Because of that collaboration, the identity of the robber was ultimately ascertained, and we were able to hold Lunsford accountable for these robberies.”

From 2016 to 2019, Lunsford robbed three Peoples Bank locations in Franklin, Springboro and Carlisle. Lunsford walked into the banks and handed a note to the bank tellers stating this was a robbery and demanding money.

Demanding money through a note was the most popular means of robbing a bank in the U.S. in 2018, according to the FBI. The robber passed a note 1,813 times, followed by threatening possessing a weapon (1,329), and making an oral threat (1,252).

There were more than eight bank robberies a day in the U.S. in 2018, according to the FBI. In those 3,033 robberies, violence was committed 81 times, including 16 instances when a firearm was discharged, 59 assaults, one explosion and five instances when hostages were taken.

That violence resulted in 34 injuries, nine hostages taken and four deaths, all perpetrators, according to the FBI. In Ohio, there were 146 bank robberies in 2018, according to the FBI.

Warren County law enforcement officers were aided in their investigation of the bank robberies by bank surveillance cameras that captured all of the robberies, said Carlisle Police Chief Michael Bruck.

Police were ultimately able to locate the vehicle Lunsford drove during the robberies, according to the prosecutor’s office. The vehicle contained the same clothing Lunsford wore during the robberies and a note similar to the ones given to the tellers, according to the release. Lunsford was located in Indiana and extradited back to Ohio to face these charges.

On March 14, 2019, Lunsford robbed the Peoples Bank branch in Carlisle. He robbed the Springboro branch on June 30, 2016 and the Franklin branch on July 15, 2016, according to police.

Lunsford was arrested March 14, 2019 at the Hollywood Casino in Lawrenceburg, Ind. Bruck said casino security recognized Lunsford from Facebook posts by police.

Lunsford has an active warrant for unauthorized use of a motor vehicle, according to Detective Sgt. Jamie Mays of the Fairfield Twp. Police Department. The fifth-degree felony charge was made because Lunsford allegedly took a gray 2004 Dodge Ram pickup truck out of state.

Mays said Lunsford borrowed the pickup truck from a friend on March 9, 2019 and did not return it as agreed. He said Lunsford allegedly had the pickup truck for four days before the friend called police after trying to reach him.

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