Police turn in ex-cop on serial robbery charges

Police turn in ex-cop on serial robbery charges
Jacob Goodwin did not speak when he appeared in court Friday. (FOX19 NOW/Jennifer Baker)
Jacob Goodwin did not speak when he appeared in court Friday. (FOX19 NOW/Jennifer Baker)
FOX19 NOW/Jennifer Baker
FOX19 NOW/Jennifer Baker

CINCINNATI (FOX19) - Bond was set at $400,000 Friday for a former police officer accused of robbing five businesses over the past month.

Jacob Goodwin, 30, pleaded not guilty to the robberies during his first court appearance on the case.

The former part-time police officer for Newtown, Elmwood Place and Aberdeen appeared calm but did not speak. He also worked at a UC Health security guard in 2014.

Goodwin's lawyer told Hamilton County Municipal Court Judge Tyrone Yates that Goodwin denies all the allegations.

Attorney Brian Goldberg said Goodwin worked as a police officer about 10 years and is a longtime employee at the Holy Grail Tavern & Grill at The Banks.

He is a lifelong Cincinnatian, lives with his parents in Anderson Township, graduated from Archbishop McNicholas High School and attended some classes at Cincinnati State Technical and Community College.

Goodwin has no prior criminal record beyond a minor misdemeanor conviction, his lawyer said.

But law enforcement officials, including some of Goodwin's former colleagues, paint a starkly different picture.

In court Friday, they detailed mounting evidence they say shows he is not only a serial robber, but also a serious threat to the public and first responders.

Several guns and police equipment such as protective, bulletproof vests were found when they searched his vehicle and home.

"He has extensive law enforcement training which has hindered us with his experience in how we do our investigations and looking for persons," the detective told the judge.

Surveillance video from all offenses show the same suspect using the same vehicle, authorities have said. The suspect also displayed or implied he had a gun during each robbery.

They said an investigation into the robberies remains ongoing with other law enforcement agencies. More charges are possible.

Goodwin is charged now with four of the five robberies in Cincinnati, Anderson Township and Norwood between March 22 and April 15.

An additional fifth charge is coming, detectives said.

The robberies were reported at:

  • United Dairy Farmers in the 7600 block of Beechmont Avenue in Cincinnati on March 22
  • Speedway in the 5000 block of Batavia Pike in Anderson Township on March 22
  • CVS Pharmacy in the 3000 block of Madison Avenue in Cincinnati on March 30
  • Pearls Diner in the 3500 block of Eastern Avenue in Cincinnati on April 8
  • Speedway located in the 2700 block of Williams Avenue in Norwood on April 15

Goodwin is held at the Hamilton County Justice Center.

The case goes to a grand jury for likely indictment May 1.

Goodwin's former fellow officers in Newtown turned him in, Police Chief Tom Synan confirmed Friday.

He was a part-time police officer in Newtown police officer from February 2010 to March 2010 and worked as a security guard in 2014 for UC Health.

Goodwin received several disciplinary actions during his time with Newtown police and quit in March 2010 when he was told he was being recommended for termination, Synan said.

Newtown officers monitoring law enforcement intelligence websites noticed Goodwin's vehicle was used in several area robberies, Synan said.

That information was passed to investigators on the case.

It was later found the vehicle was owned and used by Goodwin and he was allegedly involved in the crimes, Synan said.

"Newtown Police officers responded to one of the robberies where Jacob Goodwin allegedly placed innocent and police officers, including those he used to work with lives in danger," the chief wrote in a prepared statement.

"Our responsibility is to uphold a standard of service and protect the public from harm which we did when he was released from the Newtown Police Department and now 6 years later.

"It was Newtown officers that turned him in, showing that our bond to those we serve goes beyond those who discredit our profession."

Aberdeen Mayor Jason Phillips said he was shocked at Goodwin's arrest.

""It's crazy," the mayor said. "I wouldn't think he would do something like this. It seemed like he was OK.

"People nowadays, you don't know what you are getting. You think you know people, but you don't know. You just don't know."

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