Shelby Township armed robbery suspect in custody

Police expect mass federal indictment

By: Sarah Wojcik | Shelby - Utica News | Published April 25, 2016

 Surveillance video shows an armed robbery suspect exiting Advance America after allegedly taking $4,800 from employees at gunpoint at approximately 10:22 a.m. Jan. 29. Police said the suspect is now in custody and has been linked to several other armed robbery cases in the state.

Surveillance video shows an armed robbery suspect exiting Advance America after allegedly taking $4,800 from employees at gunpoint at approximately 10:22 a.m. Jan. 29. Police said the suspect is now in custody and has been linked to several other armed robbery cases in the state.

File photo provided by the Shelby Township Police Department

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SHELBY TOWNSHIP — The widely sought-after suspect in a Jan. 29 armed robbery at a cash advance loan business in Shelby Township is in custody on another case, police said.

Police Chief Robert Shelide said an FBI crime task force is in charge of the case and that the Shelby Township Police Department has been working closely with them.

Besides Shelby Township, Shelide said the suspect has been linked to four armed robberies and one attempted armed robbery in Clinton Township, Sterling Heights and Lansing.

In a search of the suspect’s private residence, he said the FBI recovered more than $35,000 in stolen cash.

Shelide said the FBI would charge the suspect in all of the cases and that he had not yet been arraigned for the case in Shelby Township.

“He’s on federal probation, which basically means he’s on parole, but the feds don’t call it parole — they call it probation,” Shelide said.

He said Shelby police have been working on the case since the robbery occurred, and that the suspect’s connection to Shelby Township is that he has a child who lives in Sterling Heights with the child’s mother.

“I would like to commend our acting deputy chief, (Detective Lt.) Jason Schmittler, who has been on top of this since day one,” Shelide said. “He leads our detective bureau, and they have been relentless in pursuing justice.”

The armed robbery took place at approximately 10:22 a.m. Jan. 29 at Advance America, located on the east side of Van Dyke Avenue, just north of 21 Mile Road. Two employees were inside the store at the time.

Schmittler said the suspect produced a black pistol and demanded money. The employees complied, and he said the robber left the business with approximately $4,800.

Nobody was hurt in the incident.

“We’re excited (that the suspect is in custody). We’re happy. This is what we wanted,” Schmittler said. “He was definitely a danger.”

Jill Washburn, a public affairs specialist for the FBI’s Detroit Division, said the FBI is still in the middle of its investigation and cannot release more information about the suspect.

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