Arrests made in ATM robberies

MARIETTA – Area residents can breathe a little easier while using local automated teller machines after the Marietta Police Department arrested a local man and woman for alleged armed robberies at two Marietta ATMs last week.

Marietta residents Mindy Sue Fox, 32, of 237 Muskingum Drive, and James Jonathan Augenstein, 43, of 836 Pike St., Apt. 16, were transported to the Marietta Police Department where they were placed under arrest Saturday afternoon. Both were housed in the Washington County Jail pending arraignment today in Marietta Municipal Court.

Fox is charged with two first-degree felony counts of aggravated robbery, and Augenstein was charged with two first-degree felony counts of complicity.

“Additional charges may be filed,” said Capt. Jeff Waite with the Marietta Police Department, who noted the department had been contacted about the incidents multiple times.

“Since the robberies last week we’ve received several phone calls from residents concerned about being robbed while using the ATMs at their banks,” he said.

The first incident occurred at the Citizens Bank ATM on Second Street around 6:40 p.m. Thursday when 30-year-old Matthew Bailey was robbed of his wallet at knifepoint while parked in the bank’s ATM lane.

The robber wore a black toboggan with holes cut in it for eyes and mouth, and was driven away in a red pickup truck, according to witnesses.

In the statement of facts, filed by investigating Marietta officer Katie Warden, Fox admitted she had been dropped off at Citizens Bank by Augenstein and had used a knife to rob Bailey of his wallet and money.

The second robbery took place around 7:41 a.m. Friday. Fox told investigators that Augenstein had dropped her off at the River City Dental office, 124 Third St., where she use a knife to force a construction worker, Darrell Ashby, 33, to drive her to the Settlers Bank on Third Street where he was forced to remove money from his account and give it to Fox.

Waite said Fox and Augenstein had obtained a total of about $450 from both robberies, and the police investigation had not indicated that any credit cards had been used from Bailey’s wallet.

In her statement of facts Fox said the couple spent the money on gas, clothing and movies. She also told investigators that the robberies were Augenstein’s idea and he told her if anything went wrong he would kill the robbery victims.

Fox added that she committed the robberies because she was afraid Augenstein would harm her if she didn’t rob the victims.

Augenstein told investigators Saturday that he had dropped Fox off at both locations on Thursday and Friday, but he was unaware that she was planning the robberies.

Waite said investigators received a tip from an anonymous caller that led them to the suspects.

“We received information that a man and woman matching the suspects’ descriptions had been seen driving in a red truck,” he said.

In her report Warden said the caller told the police dispatcher that a red pickup truck, also matching witness descriptions, was parked along Muskingum Drive in front of Fox’s residence on Saturday. A check of the vehicle’s registration showed it belonged to Augenstein.

Warden and fellow police officer Jeremy Pinkerton contacted Augenstein on the porch of his residence Saturday. Augenstein told them Fox was asleep in the home’s living room.

“I made contact with (Fox) who initially denied any involvement, but then admitted she had used a knife to rob two different people,” Warden wrote in her report.

Both suspects were taken to the police station where they were arrested before being transported to the Washington County Jail.

Waite said even though Fox and Augenstein are behind bars, residents using ATMs should not let their guard down.

“Anytime you’re using an ATM always be aware of your surroundings, and stay cautious,” he said. “And it’s a good idea to have someone with you at the ATM if possible.”