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Southfield

February 13, 2013

Man arrested for armed robbery of cellphone store

By Jessica Strachan
C & G Staff Writer

Buchanan

SOUTHFIELD — A 42-year-old Detroit man has been arrested in connection with the recent armed robbery of a Verizon Wireless store on West 10 Mile Road.

John Lewis Buchanan II was allegedly caught on surveillance video holding a clerk at gunpoint for cash and several iPhones at Cellular Connection Feb. 1. Before fleeing on foot, the man reportedly tied the victim up using zip-ties and left her on the floor. 

After spreading the word to local police departments in the area and asking for assistance, Southfield police were given suspect information, which led them Buchanan on Feb. 6.

Lt. Robert Shelide of the Southfield Police Department said that Buchanan is no stranger to the Farmington Hills Police Department, where officers recognized the suspect in the surveillance photo immediately, noting that he is a suspect in similar incidents that happened in their city.

“We don’t always send out surveillance photos (to other city’s police departments), but this armed robbery was a pretty big deal, and so obviously we did everything we could,” Shelide explained. “Once our officers identified who he was (from the FHPD), they ran his record and found that he’s on probation for failure to pay child support. They found out his meeting time and location, went there and waited for him. When he arrived, officers arrested him.”

Buchanan was arrested outside his probation office in Detroit and was arraigned Feb. 6. Shelide said Buchanan is being charged with the armed robbery of Cellular Connection, which happened just a few minutes after the store opened that Friday.

Lt. Nick Loussia of the Southfield Police Department issued a press release about the incident after it occurred. He noted that the victim was the sole employee working at the store that morning.

“(He) pointed a silver semi-automatic handgun at her and demanded that she give him all the money from the cash register,” the press release explained. The clerk complied and was ordered to retrieve the iPhones, which she confessed to the man were locked inside a safe in the back room, Loussia added.

The suspect escaped with cash and six iPhones. Loussia said the victim was left tied up for half an hour before she could break loose and was then so frightened that she didn’t immediately call police. Rather, she texted her boss to call 911.

Because of the delay in reporting the crime, officers who arrived at the scene were not able to locate the suspect, Loussia said.

Shelide said that, in a photo lineup, the victim identified Buchanan as the robber who tied her up. Buchanan is now being held at the Oakland County Jail on a $250,000 cash bond or surety. He said he will be retaining his own lawyer, and his next court date was set for Feb. 14 before Judge Debra Nance in the 46th District Court.

The victim did not suffer any major injuries, according to Shelide.

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