Police arrest suspect in West Bloomfield bank robbery

By: Cari DeLamielleure-Scott | West Bloomfield Beacon | Published December 20, 2013

WEST BLOOMFIELD — A strong-arm robbery occurred at the Bank of America at 6400 Orchard Lake Road at 4:45 p.m. Dec. 18.

According to a press release, police located and arrested the suspect, a Detroit resident, without incident Dec. 19 after security footage aired on news reports.

West Bloomfield and South Oakland Narcotic Intelligence Consortium reports state that a suspect entered the bank and handed a note to the teller, demanding money be placed into a bag without a dye pack. The suspect also allegedly threatened to harm the teller if she signaled the police with an alarm button.

The teller provided the suspect with $2,100 in a Bank of America bag, and the suspect left the bank, running southbound towards Maple and Orchard Lake roads. The West Bloomfield Police Department was contacted after the robbery and began a search, using K-9s. However, there was no sign of the suspect.

Still photographs from security footage were released to various media outlets, and from the information the detectives received through a tip line, the department was able identify a possible suspect, said West Bloomfield Lt. Curtis Lawson. SONIC, which comprises West Bloomfield, Farmington HIlls and Novi detectives, and West Bloomfield detectives went to several addresses in Detroit where they thought the suspect may be, Lawson added. The detectives found a suspect matching the description and surveilled the man for a short time before performing a traffic stop and making an arrest.

“We have obtained more evidence, so we’re confident in the probable cause for the arrest,” Lawson said.

Anytime a bank is robbed, it is not only a state crime, but a federal crime, Lawson explained. Therefore, the West Bloomfield Police Department will be working with the FBI on the case.

“Obviously anytime we have a robbery, our customers and our associates are our top priority,” said Diane Wagner, spokesperson for Bank of America. Wagner added that the branch acted quickly and is cooperating with law enforcement. “The good thing here is … we were ready to open the next day with no delays,” she added.