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Bank robber changed clothes, car while in Somerset

January 12, 2019

The suspected bank robber who caused a stir in Somerset last month apparently used his time in the county to change his clothes and means of transportation, according to court documents.

State police in Somerset were granted an arrest warrant Tuesday by Somerset District Judge Ken Johnson against Charles Patrick Gibson Jr., 57, accusing him of burglary, criminal trespass, receiving stolen property and criminal mischief in connection with the incident. Gibson is still at large.

He entered America’s County after allegedly robbing two banks in Garrett County, Maryland, on Dec. 13. After avoiding apprehension, he entered a home unwanted, and stole a car, police said.

Gibson took Edith and Frank Morgan’s Pontiac G6 from the couple’s driveway along Russett Alley. He first broke a basement window in their home, entered it, and rummaged through their upstairs bedrooms. A few hours after entering their home, he left wearing their clothes and driving their car. He allegedly used the items the next day in a bank robbery in Ohio.

A neighbor of the Morgans reported seeing “a bush moving as if something was inside the bush,” according to police. Next she saw a man fitting Gibson’s description (120 pounds, 5-foot, 2-inches tall) at the scene.

Gibson left behind wet and muddy shoes that Frank Morgan found Dec. 13, police said. A few weeks later, he found muddy, wet clothes shoved behind a hamper in the basement, police said.

Gibson left Somerset County, then drove to Ohio where he used the G6 in a bank robbery at Huntington Bank in St. Clairsville, Ohio, the following day.

The car was recovered in Bridgeport, Ohio, after authorities informed Pennsylvania State Police that it had been involved in a bank robbery.

The Belmont County, Ohio, sheriff identified Gibson in the Huntington Bank robbery as the driver of the G6.

Gibson crashed the vehicle, fled from it on foot and is believed to have been picked up by a passing motorist, police said. He left behind his uncashed paycheck in the vehicle and the note he used in the Huntington Bank robbery police said.

Edith Morgan identified her sneakers as the ones Gibson wore in the Huntington Bank robbery from a surveillance video. Frank Morgan identified his winter jacket and blue hat as being worn by the robber, police said.

On Jan. 3 state police filed a case for an incident that occurred on Dec. 13, before Gibson came to Somerset County. Police charged Gibson with recklessly endangering another person, resisting arrest and fleeing or attempting to elude police.

Gibson allegedly robbed two banks in Garrett County, Maryland, that day, and fled in a blue Kia Forte into Somerset County. A vehicle matching that description was spotted traveling north on Route 219 near Berlin Plank Road. Police followed the vehicle, which left the roadway at the Friedens exit.

The motorist, believed to be Gibson, ran a red light at North Pleasant Avenue and pulled into the parking lot of Jenny Products and left the car, running on foot.

Police lost him after a chase that went across the Pennsylvania Turnpike and into a residential area.

During the pursuit, Gibson shed most of his clothing, which matched the clothing in the surveillance video from the Maryland banks, police said.

He then ran into the residential area, police said.

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