Illinois man accused of trying to rob two Birmingham banks

By: Tiffany Esshaki | Birmingham - Bloomfield Eagle | Published September 12, 2016

 Matthew Lane

Matthew Lane

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An Illinois man is currently in Oakland County Jail waiting to see a judge next week after allegedly trying to rob not one but two Birmingham banks.

Matthew Lane, 22, was arrested Friday by Bloomfield Hills Public Safety officers when they noticed that his vehicle, heading north at Woodward and Square Lake Road, matched the description of a vehicle driven by a bank robbery suspect.

According to reports, Birmingham police officers were dispatched to the Bank of Birmingham, 33583 Woodward Ave., at 4:38 p.m. Sept. 9 on reports of a robbery attempt that had just occurred.

Birmingham Cmdr. Scott Grewe said a fortunate miscommunication between the suspect and the teller resulted in the man leaving the bank empty handed on his first try of the day.

“He got nothing,” Grewe said. “What happened was he passed the note to the teller which was written on one of those withdrawal slips. She asked him, ‘Do you have ID?’ He said no, and she said ‘Well I can’t do a transaction without an ID.’ And he said ‘Well, did you read the slip?’ 

He eventually just said never mind, grabbed the slip and left. It wasn’t until afterwards that she’s like, ‘Oh my gosh, he tried to rob me.’”

Shortly after that incident was called in to police, a hold-up alarm was activated at 4:40 p.m. at the Birmingham Bloomfield Credit Union, 576 E. Lincoln Street. The suspect made off with a couple thousand dollars at that location, Grewe said. In both instances, the suspect passed a teller a note demanding money, but no weapons were seen or implied.

It was about 15 minutes after the second incident that BHPS pulled over a car matching the witnesses’ description of the getaway vehicle. Inside the vehicle was Lane, along with a firearm, the stolen cash and the notes passed to tellers at each bank.

Lane was arrested for bank robbery and carrying a concealed weapon. He was arraigned Sept. 11 in 48th District Court by Magistrate Michael Batchik, where he was denied bond and assigned a probable cause hearing for Sept. 19.

No attorney is currently listed on court documents for Lane, and comment on behalf of the defendant could not be obtained by press time.

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