Suspect arrested in attempted 7-Eleven armed robbery

By: Mike Koury | Woodward Talk | Published April 2, 2024

 James Heflin

James Heflin


FERNDALE — A 24-year-old Oak Park man was arrested March 21 for allegedly attempting to rob a 7-Eleven in February.

According to police, the original incident occurred at approximately 3:55 p.m. Feb. 3 at the 7-Eleven located at 1040 W. Nine Mile Road. Police were called to the business for a report of an armed robbery.

Police stated that an unknown male suspect had entered the store with a knife and demanded money from the store clerk.

“The individual drew a knife, asked for money and in the process of the armed robbery, a customer came in and interrupted the whole robbery, and the suspect fled,” Ferndale police communications liaison Evan Ahlin said.

Ahlin said police were given a general description of the individual from the store employee. Officers also were able to get the make, model and the license plate number of the suspect’s vehicle, a silver SUV.

The plate number was then entered into the department’s Flock Safety system, which is used to identify suspicious vehicles throughout the city using surveillance cameras placed at certain entrances in Ferndale.

Police Chief Dennis Emmi said that when they get a description of a suspect’s vehicle and any identifying characteristics such as different colors or dents, that information is put into the Flock system. If a camera records the vehicle, it will notify police of its presence.

“In this case, they identified the vehicle and they entered the license plate of the vehicle into the Flock system. And then the vehicle entered our jurisdiction. … The officers (initiated) a traffic stop on that, then subsequently recovered evidence from the interior of the car that matched the crime.”

Police pulled the suspect’s vehicle over at 7:02 p.m. March 21. The driver, James Heflin, was arrested without incident.

Heflin was arraigned on March 22 in the 43rd District Court on one count of armed robbery. He was given a $100,000 cash bond and his next court appearance is scheduled for 1 p.m. Thursday, April 4.

Heflin’s attorney, Richard Glanda, could not be reached for comment at press time.