Amherst woman named in bank robbery case

By Jason Hawk -

Begin and Liberty

Begin and Liberty

Painted as a modern-day Bonnie and Clyde, a Lorain County duo is suspected in a string of robberies across the northern part of the state.

Casey Liberty, 30, of Amherst, and Daniel Begin, 32, of Columbia Station, allegedly admitted to investigators that they have been on a crime spree since September to support their heroin addiction.

They will appear Dec. 5 before Judge Thomas Parker in U.S. District Court in Cleveland on federal counts of conspiring to commit bank robbery.

There is strong evidence that Liberty was the person who demanded money from a teller at Andover Bank in Conneaut around 3:30 p.m. on Sept. 19, according to court documents.

Wearing a black wig, green pants, a dark jacket, black shoes, and carrying a brown or green shoulder bag, the petite woman seen on surveillance footage had an index card that said there was an armed robber outside.

She made off with $1,764.

Investigators noticed a blue Chevrolet Cobalt on security camera footage — the same model in which Liberty and Begin were arrested by Elyria police on Oct. 23.

Officers there said the pair was behind a string of October robberies in Lorain and Cuyahoga counties, including Elyria GameStop and Subway locations.

Cleveland FBI special agent Jack Vickery saw information released by Elyria police and noticed Liberty resembled the Conneaut robbery suspect, a court filing said.

Liberty was also questioned by Medina police Det. Mathew Fitz about a Chase Bank robbery that occurred Sept. 28. She told him she uses heroin and couldn’t continue the interview because she was going through withdrawal.

Begin later said both are addicted to heroin and “their addictions were the driving force behind the robberies they committed,” according to Vickery.

Liberty lost her job in mid-September, and when the two ran out of money to support their heroin habit they decided to rob a bank, Begin reportedly said.

At first, Liberty didn’t want Begin involved but he decided to take part to ensure her safety, the complaint said. The robberies they committed “have run together” and were “a blur,” he told investigators.

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

Begin and Liberty and Liberty

By Jason Hawk