ROSEVILLE — A 20-year-old Fraser man was at the wrong place at the wrong time when, after allegedly robbing a Roseville business, he fled to a friend’s house where police — responding to an unrelated incident — thought that he fit the Roseville robber’s description.
Police said that at approximately 7:20 p.m. Feb. 28, Solomon Hartman robbed a Radio Shack in the 31000 block of Gratiot Avenue in Roseville.
“The suspect displayed a handgun and demanded that the employee give him money from the register,” said Deputy Chief Don Glandon, of the Roseville Police Department.
The employee complied, and after being given an unspecified amount of cash, the suspect fled the area. The employee immediately called the police, providing them with a detailed description of the suspect, and that description was being rattled off on police radio waves within minutes to departments in nearby areas.
“One of the nice things about SERESA (South East Regional Emergency Services Authority) is we get suspect descriptions out to multiple police departments very quickly,” said Police Chief James Berlin.
“How quickly we are able to get a description out increases the chance of the suspect being arrested.”
Just after 8 p.m., the Roseville Police Department was contacted by the Clinton Township Police Department. The CTPD was at a residential home in their city on an unrelated incident, and a man there matched the description of Roseville’s armed robbery suspect.
“The employee was able to provide officers with a description of the suspect, including what he was wearing at the time of the incident,” Berlin said, “when 20 minutes after the description went out, the Clinton Township police come across a man meeting that description in looks and clothing.”
Because of the proximity to the scene of the armed robbery and the time elapsed from when the store was robbed to when Hartman was identified as a suspect, police were able to take him into custody.
“If it had been three days later, it would not have happened; if it had been three hours later, it probably would not have happened, but it was about 20 minutes after the Roseville incident, so he was brought back to the scene to be identified by the store employee, who was still on shift,” Berlin said.
After a positive identification, Hartman was searched, and both the weapon and stolen cash were recovered on him, police said. The gun was discovered to be a BB gun, or air-soft gun, that looks very much like a semi-automatic handgun.
Hartman was charged with one count of armed robbery, a felony offense with a maximum sentence of life in prison. Berlin said that the charge is the same, regardless of the type of gun.
“It doesn’t matter if it is a real gun or not, as long as the victim thought it was real and felt their life was in danger because of it,” he said.
Hartman was arraigned in 39th District Court in Roseville March 1. Bond was set at $150,000 cash or surety, no 10 percent. A preliminary exam is scheduled for March 13. Court records did not indicate that Hartman had a defense attorney at press time.
The case against Hartman is moving forward and police do not believe any accomplices were involved, but the investigation is ongoing. Anyone with information regarding this incident is asked to contact the Roseville Police Department Criminal Investigations Bureau at (586) 447-4500.
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