Trial set for duo in string of robberies

Suspects say heroin habit was behind six-county spree

Staff Report

A Feb. 20 trial date has been set for Casey Liberty and Daniel Begin, who investigators say went on a multi-county crime spree for heroin money.

Both pleaded not-guilty Dec. 27 in U.S. District Court in Cleveland.

They were indicted last month on 14 counts of bank robbery and conspiracy.

Liberty, 30, of Amherst, and Begin, 32, of Columbia Station, wore disguises and covered their faces during the robberies, according to court documents.

The duo is believed to have bought a BB gun to use in the robberies, and it was Liberty who drove the getaway vehicle — a blue Chevy Cobalt.

The alleged robbers used the ill-gotten cash “to purchase drug and food and to pay for hotel rooms,” according to the indictment.

Prosecutors say Liberty and Begin robbed a number of financial institutions between Sept. 19 and Oct. 12, spanning Ashtabula, Cuyahoga, Erie, Lorain, Medina, and Summit counties.

They included the Andover Bank branch in Conneaut, taking $1,764; Chase Bank in Medina, taking about $1,000; First National Bank in Beachwood, taking about $390; and Chase Bank in Fairlawn, taking about $1,000.

Begin and Liberty also tried to rob a Seven Eleven in Brunswick and a Domino’s Pizza in North Olmsted, the indictment said.

It claimed they also succeeded in robbing a GameStop in Elyria, a Domino’s Pizza in Madison, Subways in Avon and Elyria, and Mr. Hero restaurants in Perkins Township and Berea.

When Elyria officers released information about the Lorain County robberies, a Cleveland FBI agent noticed Liberty resembled the Andover Bank suspect.

The duo reportedly broke down during questioning and told detectives they had decided to rob a bank to support their heroin habit.

Suspects say heroin habit was behind six-county spree

Staff Report