Police find Ferndale bank robbery suspect in covered playground slide

By: Mike Koury | Woodward Talk | Published June 9, 2021




FERNDALE — A 45-year-old Detroit man has been arrested for allegedly robbing a Ferndale bank of thousands of dollars.

Isaac Pettiford was arrested June 7 by the Ferndale Police Department after he allegedly robbed the Comerica Bank at 1000 E. Nine Mile Road.

Police were alerted to the robbery at approximately 9:16 a.m. after they received a call from a bank teller. According to Public Information Officer Jill Mahlmeister, the bank had just opened and the teller had yet to have any customers when Pettiford entered.

“The suspect approached her counter and passed a note demanding money,” Mahlmeister said. “The teller initially was confused and explained to him that he needed to fill out a withdrawal slip, and that’s when the suspect stated, ‘No you don’t understand, I’m robbing the bank.’”

The bank teller complied and handed over all the cash in her drawer, which amounted to more than $2,000 in different denominations. The robber, allegedly Pettiford, then fled the scene. No one was injured in the encounter.

Police arrived on the scene and interviewed witnesses to get a description of the robber; they learned that he was wearing a dark-colored windbreaker and had a tattoo under his right eye.

Mahlmeister said officers started surveilling the area. They were able to locate surveillance footage of the suspect running northbound across Nine Mile from the bank.

Officers circulated throughout the area and, at approximately 10:06 a.m., police located Pettiford at Vester Park.

“He was inside one of the kids’ tunnel slides,” said Mahlmeister. “An officer drove by at just the right angle. They thought they saw something in the slide and they went and investigated it further.”

Pettiford was arrested without incident and police were able to recover the $2,000 in cash, according to Mahlmeister. Pettiford did not have a weapon on him, and Mahlmeister stated that he did not imply that he had one during the robbery.

Pettiford was arraigned June 8 at the 43rd District Court on one count of felony bank robbery, for which he faces up to life in prison. He was given a $50,000 cash or surety bond and his next court date was scheduled for 1 p.m. Thursday, June 17.

The 43rd District Court stated that Pettiford had yet to be assigned an attorney.