Police search for serial robber of local businesses

By BOB OLIVER
Times-Herald Newspapers

DEARBORN — The Dearborn and Dearborn Heights police departments are working together to solve a string of armed robberies that took place over a five-day period at the end of August.

The robberies took place at a Dearborn CVS/pharmacy and Old Mill Party Shoppe, Comerica Bank and TCF Bank in dearborn Heights. The crimes took place between Aug. 25 and 30.

The suspect is described as a white male, 30 to 35 years old, approximately 6 feet tall with a thin build and scruffy facial hair. During the CVS robbery, he was wearing a blue baseball hat, a gray and blue button-up work-style shirt and jeans.

Dearborn Lt. Douglas Topolski said police believe the same man is responsible for all of the crimes because surveillance footage from the different businesses shows a man of a similar build and description committing the crimes. Witness descriptions are also consistent between the cases.

Dearborn Police Chief Ronald Haddad said assistance from the community could be “a crucial part of this investigation.”

The first two robberies were committed on Aug. 25 at businesses on Telegraph Road. The first took place about 3:30 p.m. at Old Mill Party Shoppe, 4503 S. Telegraph.

The man approached the counter with a large knife and demanded money from the register. The cashier put the money on the counter and the man picked it up and fled south from the store.

Witnesses reported seeing the suspect fleeing east through a nearby parking lot, but were unable to see which direction he went after he passed through the lot.

A few hours later, CVS/pharmacy, 2701 S. Telegraph, was robbed. A man approached the cashier, placed a reusable shopping bag on the counter and pulled a black and silver semi-automatic handgun out of his waistband.

He placed the handgun on the counter so that it faced the cashier and stated, “This is a robbery, give me the money.” The cashier gave the man $262 in cash and he fled the store.

Witnesses told police that the suspect fled the store in a newer model black Chevrolet Impala with tinted windows.

TCF Bank, 25488 Michigan Ave., was robbed just after 10 a.m. Aug. 28

A man approached a teller and placed a black plastic bag on the counter and told her, “Put the money in the bag.” He kept his right hand in the front pocket of the hoodie he was wearing while resting his left hand on the counter.

After receiving just over $1,800, the man walked out of the building and fled north on Orchard and then west on Oakland. The teller placed a GPS unit in the bag with the money, but it did not have a connection.

The last robbery took place at Comerica Bank, 4401 S. Telegraph, about 3 p.m. Aug. 30.

A man approached a teller and slid her a handwritten note that read, “I have a bomb, I know where you live.” He then opened his shirt slightly to reveal wires and two unknown objects.

The teller placed just under $2,700 in cash in an envelope the man had given her. While placing the cash in the envelope she was able to hit the security alarm.

The man took the envelope and left the bank through the front door. He was last seen near the corner of Telegraph and Lehigh.

Anyone with information about any of the incidents is asked to contact the DPD at 313-943-2240.

(Bob Oliver can be reached at boliver@bewickpublications.com.)

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