Feds accuse serial robber in Chemical Bank case

By Jason Hawk - jhawk@civitasmedia.com



Adam Carson, a criminal with an extensive rap sheet, has been indicted by a federal grand jury in connection to the Nov. 21 robbery of Chemical Bank in Amherst.

The FBI says Carson, 34, was the bearded man who walked into the Cooper Foster Park Road bank branch on Nov. 21 and handed a teller a note that read, “Give me all the money or I will hurt you.”

He walked away with $5,590 “by force, violence, and intimidation,” according to to the indictment, filed in the U.S. District Court in Cleveland.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Ranya Elzein has been assigned to prosecute the case.

A release from the U.S. Department of Justice said Carson lived in Amherst. However, Amherst police. Sgt. Mike Murphy confirmed he’d never held a local address. His last known place of residence was in Rocky River.

Amherst police previously did not release the suspect’s name but told the News-Times he had been locked up Thanksgiving Day — three days after the Chemical Bank robbery — on unrelated charges.

When the FBI announced the indictment, we began digging and found Carson had been arrested by Olmsted Falls police on Thanksgiving. He has since pleaded guilty to grand theft, a fourth-degree felony, and is awaiting sentencing Feb. 6 in Cuyahoga County court.

A police report provided by assistant chief Odis Rogers said Carson stole a 2003 Chevy Tracker from a BP gas station on Columbia Road while the truck’s owner was inside buying cigarettes. Lakewood police spotted the vehicle and apprehended the thief less than two hours later.

It turns out Carson was also arrested in 2012 after a two-hour standoff with police in Youngstown on the eve of a sentencing for a cocaine possession charge.

From there he was put before an Ashtabula County judge on suspicion of robbing Huntington Bank in Orwell and Andover Bank in Austinburg. He pleaded guilty to the Huntington robbery and was sentenced to four and a half years in prison.

He was released from the Lorain Correctional Institution in December 2015.

Carson’s record stretches back even further. He pleaded no contest to a first degree misdemeanor theft count in Mahoning County court in 2012; a six-month jail sentence was suspended in favor of 40 hours of community service and restitution of the $910 he stole.

He previously had served two years after pleading guilty in 2009 to robbing a Walgreens and Third Federal Bank in Rocky River, according to Cuyahoga County court records.

Before that, Carson robbed First Place Bank in Trumbull County in 2006 and served two years behind bars.

In that case, Warren police Det. Jeffrey Hoolihan told Youngtown’s Vindicator newspaper that Carson was a “quiet, polite, smart individual” who got involved with drugs and turned to crime.

And one more twist — we found Adam Carson is the son of former Trumbull County administrator Tony Carson Jr.

The elder Carson has also worked as administrator of Berlin, Md., and Fenwick Island, Del., and as city manager of Painesville, Ohio. He was hired in November as manager of Pekin, Ill.

Jason Hawk can be reached at 440-988-2801 or @EditorHawk on Twitter.


By Jason Hawk