Auto theft nets zero jail time for Chemical Bank robbery suspect

By Jason Hawk -

Suspected bank robber Adam Carson has been sentenced to a year of probation for stealing a Chevy Tracker in Olmsted Falls.

Now the justice system is shifting to prosecute the 34-year-old in connection to the November robbery of Chemical Bank on Cooper Foster Park Road, Amherst.

A federal court has been waiting for the grand theft auto case to wrap up in Cuyahoga County.

It ended Feb. 21 when Carson, who had pleaded guilty to the fourth-degree felony, was given no jail time.

He will instead be screened for placement at the Judge Nancy R. McDonnell Community Based Correctional Facility.

It’s a corrections program that gives male felons help with substance abuse treatment, job training and placement, educational services, anger management classes, and other life skills.

The four- to six-month program aims to stop criminals from breaking the law again and to help them reenter society.

The McConnell facility is secured by is hardly a jail; felons are allowed to leave for job searches, college classes, Alcoholics Anonymous meetings, and other approved trips.

Violating the terms of the sentencing would land Carson in jail for 18 months.

Carson stole the small Chevy SUV on Thanksgiving while its owner was inside a Columbia Road gas station buying cigarettes. He was caught two hours later.

Amherst police and the FBI were hunting for the suspect in the Chemical Bank robbery three days before. They built a case against Carson, who they say was captured on surveillance camera footage wearing a goatee, glasses, and ball cap.

Court records show Carson has committed several other robberies, including banks, and has prior convictions for cocaine possession and theft.

A 30-minute pretrial in the Chemical case was held Friday in U.S. District Court in Cleveland. A final pretrial is slated for March 27, with jury trial to begin April 3.

If convicted, he could spend up to 25 years behind bars.

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

By Jason Hawk