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July 24, 2013

Boy, 12, faces felony charges for alleged bank robbery

By Jessica Strachan
C & G Staff Writer

SOUTHFIELD — Prosecutors have filed felony charges against the 12-year-old Oak Park boy who allegedly tried to rob a closed Southfield Bank of America branch earlier this month.

According to the Oakland County Prosecutor’s Office, the boy, whose name is not being released because of his age, faces charges of breaking and entering, and malicious destruction of property, as well as a misdemeanor curfew violation charge.

He’s set to be arraigned in the juvenile division of the Oakland County Circuit Court, but as of press time, the details were still being worked out.

Authorities responded to a burglar alarm at around 3 a.m. July 12 at the Bank of America at 25177 Greenfield Road to find a bicycle out front and the glass at the entrance shattered, according to Southfield Police Chief Eric Hawkins.

Inside, the boy, who reportedly rode his bike to the bank, was crouched down behind one of the counters, seemingly calm, Hawkins explained.

“He did not physically resist officers, but they found him … hiding,” Hawkins said. “(Officers) got there so fast that he didn’t have time to take whatever he was taking and escape from the bank.”

He was arrested and then later released to his parents, Hawkins added.

In the press release issued from the Southfield Police Department the day of the incident, Lt. Nick Loussia said “the suspect was found to have property from the bank on his person.” Loussia later confirmed that both cash and rolls of coins were found in the boy’s pockets.

Despite it being reported that the boy used his bike to shatter the glass at the entrance, that detail in the investigation has yet to be confirmed by authorities or the bank.

Diane Wagner, spokesperson for Bank of America, said the reports she’s seen have alleged that the minor was able to gain entry by breaking the glass, but she added that she has not seen the security footage to know what was used.

Loussia noted that the police report from the incident “doesn’t specify how it was broken.”

Wagner declined to comment on how the boy would have access to unsecured money once inside the bank.

Hawkins speculated that some sort of social services intervention will happen with the family and noted that this was the youngest suspect he’s seen in a crime of this nature. Details, including a possible course of legal actions for the family to comply with, will be decided at the hearing, Loussia said.

You can reach C & G Staff Writer Jessica Strachan at jstrachan@candgnews.com or at (586)279-1108.