Man, woman charged in parking lot robbery at Somerset

By: Terry Oparka | Troy Times | Published February 28, 2018





TROY — Two 17-year-old Southfield residents whom police said pointed a pistol at a woman and robbed her in the parking lot of the Macy’s store at Somerset Collection remained in the Oakland County Jail at press time. Their bond was listed as $350,000 cash/surety, no 10 percent. 

Jayla Harkins-Bentley and Johnell Williams-Harris were each charged with one count of armed robbery and felony firearm — pneumatic gun Feb. 16 in the 52-4 District Court. 

According to a police report, as the woman walked up to her car, parked in the lot at the south side of the Macy’s store, just before 7:30 p.m. Feb. 13, two suspects, one armed with a pistol, demanded that she turn over her money and bags or she would be “blown away right here.” 

Police said the second suspect demanded that the victim give him her cellphone and eyeglasses. She turned over the items, and the suspects ran from the scene, according to police. 

On Feb. 14, Troy investigators determined that the two suspects were in custody at the Southfield Police Department on another charge. Police said they found evidence connecting the suspects to the Troy robbery. 

In the course of the investigation, police said, they discovered that the gun used in the robbery was an Airsoft-style weapon. 

Harkins-Bentley’s attorney, David Cripps, said he was retained after her arraignment. He said he will be addressing what he called an “excessive” bond at future court dates, noting Harkins-Bentley’s “lack of criminal history. She maintains her innocence,” he said. “We are still awaiting discovery.” 

Williams-Harris has been assigned a court-appointed attorney, who could not be reached by press time. A probable cause hearing was set for Feb. 27 in the 52-4 District Court. A preliminary exam is scheduled for March 6.