Judge sets bond at $100K in bank robbery downtown
YOUNGSTOWN — Judge Renee DiSalvo of Youngstown Municipal Court set bond at $100,000 on Monday when she arraigned Phil D. Whitman Jr., 45, of Cassius Avenue on aggravated robbery in the Nov. 22 robbery of the First National Bank downtown.
Police said Whitman demanded money and received about $2,000 in cash at 2:16 p.m. He had parked on Federal Street near the bank entrance and walked to a Cadillac and drove away after the robbery.
The teller who was robbed at first wasn’t sure if the man was kidding when he handed her a note saying “cash or gun.” But the robber said, “I’m serious. Hurry up.”
The teller gave the suspect cash, and he left. He fled eastbound on Federal. The vehicle had damage to the front passenger side fender. It had a metal license plate in the back, police said. The man’s car was parked on Federal from 2:03 p.m. until 2;12 p.m.
Youngstown police were able to arrest Whitman at about 4 p.m. Thanksgiving day near his home after an officer went to the 700 block of Cassius Avenue to investigate a sighting of a silver Cadillac with a dent behind the left front, first turn signal.
On the officer’s way there, the officer spotted an early 2000s gray Cadillac turning east on McGuffey Road from Cassius. The officer followed the vehicle and observed the license plate and called it in to a dispatcher.
It came back to a 2006 Cadillac with expired license plates. The officer made a traffic stop, with the vehicle stopping in the Speed Check gas station at Lansdowne Boulevard and Oak Street. The driver was Whitman, who had a suspended driver’s license and a warrant out of Mahoning County Area Court in Boardman on a misdemeanor theft charge.
Two Youngstown officers arrested Whitman and took him to the detective division of the police department to be interviewed by police. Officers charged Whitman with aggravated robbery, driving under suspension and having an expired registration.
The owner of the car is a female, 19, of Youngstown.
When police searched Whitman, they found two “crisp, new” $100 bills in his rear left pocket of his pants. The bills, as well as other cash in another pants pocket, were taken as evidence and given to a Youngstown crime lab officer.