Lisbon police say thief saw his chance

LISBON – A Lisbon-area man was arrested Wednesday for stealing a money bag from someone on their way to the bank where he had just opened a checking account.

Charged with theft is Cory S. Witherow, 27, Steubenville Pike, Lisbon, who was arrested several hours later in Columbiana.

Police Chief Mike Abraham said the theft occurred at 12:20 p.m., just minutes after Witherow had stopped by to open a checking account at the Huntington National Bank branch in downtown Lisbon.

After leaving the bank, Witherow reportedly sat down on some steps between the bank and the Sandy & Beaver Insurance Agency. Abraham said while Witherow was sitting there, a secretary exited the insurance agency with a money bag to make a deposit at the bank. Witherow reportedly jumped up and grabbed the money bag from the secretary as she walked by.

“He (saw) an opportunity and ran up behind her and stole the money bag,” Abraham said, adding the secretary was unharmed.

As luck would have it, the bank clerk who had just opened Witherow’s checking account walked outside and saw the whole thing, including Witherow run past her with the money bag, Abraham said. The clerk was able to identify Witherow and tell police where he lived.

Meanwhile, Witherow continued to East Chestnut Street, where he had parked the red Ford Focus he was driving, and drove away.

Armed with information provided by the bank clerk, county sheriff’s deputies went to Witherow’s home on Steubenville Pike, but he was not home.

The deputies did learn Witherow worked at Col-Pump in Columbiana, so police went to the business and were told Witherow had left at 9 a.m. with his father’s red Ford Focus.

Witherow was taken into custody by Columbiana police when he returned to Col-Pump at 3 p.m. to pick up his father and was found with $1,600 in cash, Abraham said.

Abraham said Witherow has confessed to stealing the money bag and also showed police where he threw the bag along state Route 45, which also contained more cash and checks.

When asked why Witherow stole the money, Abraham said, “He’s admitted to having a drug problem.”

Although Witherow is currently charged with felony theft, Abraham is exploring whether the offense can be upgraded. “I want to talk with the prosecutor’s office about that,” he said.