Bomb threat at PNC Bank closed 1st Ave, schools locked down (with update on suspect)

Published January 31, 2017 by justicewg

first-closed-bombA bomb threat at the PNC Bank on First Ave. caused the closing of the street and lockdowns at all the school buildings in Grandview Heights this afternoon.

The schools were put in lockdown at 1:45 PM, the robbery must have occurred shortly before. The Columbus bomb squad was on the scene to determine if a bag left at the scene contained a bomb (the debris from a ripped apart bag was seen in front of the bank, I assume that means that it was a false alarm).pnc-bank-bomb

The school called off the lockdown at 3:45 PM, allowing a late return of kids from the schools to their homes.

From CH10 TV – “Police described the suspect as a white male who walked into the bank demanding money and said he had a bomb. The suspect then left a bag at the bank.”

Ch28 has photos of the suspect who robbed the bank then left a bag.

More info posted on the Grandview City blog.

Feb 14 update

The Grandview Heights police announced they have a suspect in custody. Karl Schlenker, 60, of Cranford, New Jersey, was arrested at his home without incident.

Lots of questions about this guy remaining – why travel all the way to Grandview? He doesn’t fit the profile of your average bank robber (most are younger), if the quick search I did was correct, he used to have a  Senior Sales and Marketing Leadership Position at IBM Corporation. How did he get found so quickly? My guess – he drove a car to Columbus, then parked it somewhere east of the bank (he was reported to be heading east). Possibly he walked past a surveillance camera on Grandview Ave. with his hat off and no sun glasses, and they got enough of a picture to match him on some database. Maybe he parked wrong (any parking east of Grandview Ave. is permit only), and someone took notice of his out of state license. More to come on the grey-haired bank robber.


I searched and found a Karl R Schlenker, 60, of Cranford, New Jersey, who is listed as the owner of the house at 818 Springfield Ave. I may be wrong, but I think this is his home, as of 2015 on Google maps.


A very nice home, in a good neighborhood, any of the homes on this street would fit into Grandview with no problem.

(Feb 16 update) Schlenker was returned to Franklin Co.,  posted bond, and has been released. Normally someone who is released from serious charges is required to stay in the area, so Schlenker may be walking the streets of Grandview.

karl-schlenker-indited(Feb 23) Karl Schlenker was indicted on two counts of robbery and inducing panic. That stare into the camera – is he saying, “yea, I robbed yus bank, so what?” (trying for a New Jersey accent).


(Later) A reader found the info on the case, Schlenker plead guilty and was sentenced to 4 years, 9 months in jail. He is still appealing the sentence (from jail), if I am reading the casework correctly. Also, prior convictions were mentioned in the sentencing, so this was not a guy who just broke bad at 60 years old.


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