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Press Release

Columbus Couple Charged with Crimes Related to Violent, Armed Bank Robbery in Whitehall

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of Ohio

COLUMBUS, Ohio – A federal grand jury has charged two Columbus individuals with crimes related to an armed robbery in September in Whitehall.


Robert K. Mason, 42, and Bretta L. Nallen, 43, both of Columbus, were charged in the indictment returned here yesterday.


Benjamin C. Glassman, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio, Todd Wickerham, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Cincinnati Division, Whitehall Police Chief Mike Crispen and Columbus Police Chief Kim Jacobs announced the charges.


According to the indictment, on September 26, 2018, Mason stole more than $12,000 from the Huntington National Bank on East Broad Street in Whitehall during an armed robbery.


An affidavit in this case details that, upon entering the bank, Mason brandished a handgun and ordered customers to the floor. He allegedly vaulted the counter and demanded money from bank tellers, striking two of the tellers with the gun.


One bank employee was struck in the back of the head and one was struck in the face.


From September 26 until November 2, 2018, Nallen allegedly served as an accessory to the crime by misleading authorities in order to evade Mason’s apprehension.


Both defendants also allegedly conspired to tamper with evidence by attempting to hide the firearm used during the robbery.


Specifically, Mason is charged with one count of bank robbery (up to 25 years), one count of conspiracy to tamper with evidence (up to 20 years), and one count of using a firearm during a crime of violence, (seven years up to life in prison).


Nallen is also charged with one count of conspiracy to tamper with evidence, as well as one count of being an accessory after the fact, a crime punishable by up to 15 years in prison.


The defendants are scheduled to appear in federal court today at 2:30pm before U.S. Magistrate Judge Chelsey M. Vascura.


U.S. Attorney Glassman commended the investigation of this case by the FBI and Whitehall and Columbus divisions of police, as well as Assistant United States Attorneys David M. DeVillers and S. Courter Shimeall, who are prosecuting the case.


An indictment merely contains allegations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless proven guilty in a court of law.

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Updated December 11, 2018

Violent Crime