Police arrest suspect in 2 cannabis delivery robberies

By: Kara Szymanski | Shelby-Utica News | Published September 19, 2023

 Zabion Omariez Parnell

Zabion Omariez Parnell


SHELBY TOWNSHIP — At the end of August, the Shelby Township Police Department arrested a suspect in two cases in which cannabis delivery drivers were robbed while attempting to make deliveries at an apartment complex near West Utica and Ryan roads.

The first case occurred at approximately 9:40 p.m. Aug. 19. The delivery driver knocked on the apartment door but did not receive an answer. As the delivery driver was walking back to his vehicle, a robber approached him, punched him in the head, and stole the bag of cannabis that the driver had intended to deliver, according to Shelby Township police. The robber then ran away with the stolen cannabis.

The second robbery occurred at approximately 9:40 p.m. Aug. 26. As the delivery driver was in the apartment complex’s parking lot, a robber approached the driver and robbed her of the cannabis that she was intending to deliver, police said. The robber ran away with the stolen cannabis.

The Police Department’s detective bureau and special investigations unit investigated both robberies over the next several days. Several search warrants and interviews were conducted, leading to the identification of a suspect. The Shelby Township Police Department’s tactical response unit executed a search warrant on the suspect’s residence, at which point evidence was recovered and the suspect was taken into custody, according to the department. The suspect, identified as Zabion Omariez Parnell, is a 20-year-old resident of Shelby Township.

“Thankfully, our Detective Bureau and Special Investigations Unit were able to identify and have the suspect in custody within a short time period, likely preventing additional robberies from taking place,” Sgt. Mark Benedettini, from the Shelby Township Police Department, said via email.

On Aug. 29, Parnell was arraigned in 41A District Court on two counts of unarmed robbery and his bond was set at $25,000 cash or surety for each charge. Parnell waived his preliminary examination Sept. 12 and his case has been bound over to Macomb County Circuit Court. His next court date is scheduled for Oct. 2.

“The teamwork displayed by our initial responding patrol units, Detective Bureau, Special Investigations Unit, and our Tactical Response Unit led to the quick identification and arrest of the suspect in both of these cases,” Robert Shelide, the Shelby Township police chief, said in a prepared statement.

Parnell’s attorney, Glenn A. McCandliss, could not be reached before press time.