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Police Apprehend Bank Robbery Suspect

By Staff | Feb 9, 2011

Franklin Keith Dotson

Over $5,000 cash, his disguise, and a weapon were recovered when authorities apprehended the man charged with robbing the WesBanco Pine Grove branch Monday morning at approximately 9:17 a.m.

Franklin Keith Dotson, 26, of South Carolina, but who had most recently been staying with family in Wetzel County, was arrested just two hours after the crime was reported. Monroe County Sheriff’s Office Deputies C. Coleman and R. Alleman made a traffic stop in Hannibal at 11:06 a.m. on the suspect vehicle. Just seven minutes after the initial stop, Wetzel County Sheriff James Hoskins, New Martinsville Police Chief Tim Cecil, and NMPD Detective Donnie Harris also arrived and assisted at the traffic stop, while keeping in contact with West Virginia State Police Corporal C. Lantz and WCSO Deputy Rob Hayes, who were on scene at the bank in Pine Grove gathering information.

WCSO Sgt. John Brookover, Deputy Donald Bordenkircher, and Hoskins had also been at the crime scene shortly after receiving the initial report, but had left to instigate an immediate local search for the suspect.

Coleman and Alleman detained Dotson and placed him into custody. They also impounded the vehicle that was towed to the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office in Woodsfield, where Dotson was also transported.

Upon executing a search warrant of the car, over $5,000 cash was recovered, as were the suspect’s wig and clothing used during the alleged commission of the crime. An undisclosed weapon was also recovered. While the perpetrator had implied the presence of a weapon by sticking his hand in is pocket, according to Lantz, he never revealed it to the bank employees.

The Pine Grove branch of WesBanco, located along state Route 20, was the location of what is perhaps Wetzel County’s first bank robbery which happened Monday morning. The robber got away with over $5,000 but it was all quickly recovered through a search of the sole suspect’s vehicle in Monroe County. (Photo by Amy Witschey)

Authorities believe Dotson acted alone. However, the incident remains under investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Lantz.

He was taken before a federal magistrate in Wheeling. Dotson is currently only charged with bank robbery, but other charges are pending.

Dotson was taken to the Northern Regional Jail where he is being held without bond.

“It was a great group effort,” said Lantz, “From the FBI, to Wetzel County, to New Martinsville, to Monroe County, even the 911 dispatchers to notify the surrounding agencies.”

This may be the first ever bank robbery in Wetzel County. Lantz couldn’t say for certain, but it is the first since he has worked in the area, approximately 13 years.