Security guard robs his own store, turns himself in

By Sue Suchyta
Sunday Times Newspapers

WYANDOTTE – A security guard at Rite Aid Pharmacy, 1998 Biddle, robbed the store manager at gunpoint about 11 p.m. Aug. 20 and later turned himself in to police at 1:15 a.m. Aug. 21.

Ryan Noel Smith, 20, of Lincoln Park, was arraigned in 27th District Court before Judge Randy Kalmbach Aug. 21. He was charged with armed robbery and possession of a firearm in the commission of a felony.

The store manager was working alone with Smith that evening and had begun to close the store. He was counting the cash drawers in the store office when Smith knocked on the door.

Smith entered with a semiautomatic handgun in his right hand and a blue canvas store shopping bag and a roll of duct tape in his left. He told the manager to empty the cash drawers into the bag, then asked about the safe; the manager replied that it was on a time delay.

Smith then asked the manager to tape himself to the chair He then taped his left forearm to the chair using his right hand.

The manager said Smith expressed regret, and asked him if he intended to activate the panic alarm. When the manager answered affirmatively, Smith ran out the front door in an unknown direction.

The manager told officers arriving on the scene that he did not believe Smith had a car. He thought he had taken about $450. Police took the duct tape as evidence.

A witness outside the store said she saw Smith travel west on Ford Avenue in a silver Dodge Neon.

At 1:15 am Aug. 21, Lincoln Park police received a 911 call from Smith stating he was wanted by Wyandotte police for armed robbery, and that he wanted to turn himself in.

Smith said he would meet officers at the Lincoln Park band shell near Fort Street. Officers from Lincoln Park and Wyandotte met him there and took him into custody.

Smith told police he threw the gun in the Detroit River. When he was taken to Wyandotte for booking, he asked officers whether giving the money back would “make this all go away.”

A 19-year-old Flat Rock woman and the subject’s girlfriend brought $300 cash to the Wyandotte police station about 5 a.m. Aug. 21.

She said Smith had placed the cash in her purse. She said she drove him to the park where officials took him into custody, and he used her phone to turn himself in. At his urging she then left the park before police arrived.

The woman said she found $300 in loose bills in her purse. She counted the money and put it in an envelope before bringing it to the station.

When questioned, she said she drove a silver Dodge Neon, but that Smith had not borrowed her car, nor had she picked him up from work the night before.