By ANDREA POTEET
Sunday Times Newspapers
WYANDOTTE — A vigilant resident helped Michigan State Police catch an alleged bank robber within an hour, police here say.
After seeing a suspicious-looking man sitting in his vehicle and wearing a mask at about 4 p.m. Wednesday outside Monroe Bank and Trust, 2517 Fort St., the resident took down the vehicle’s license plate number and drove around the block. After the resident passed the bank, the 30-year-old Ida man allegedly entered it with a handgun and demanded money from two tellers.
The resident circled the block just as the alleged robber was coming out of the bank with an undisclosed amount of money, Wyandotte Lt. Bob Heck said. He contacted an off-duty Wyandotte police officer he knew with the license plate number, and nearby police departments were notified.
The plate number then was entered into a computer program, which revealed that the suspect may have been heading to the Ida area.
The suspect was arrested by Michigan State Police exiting I-75 in Monroe about 5 p.m Wednesday. All money was recovered; police did not disclose the amount.
No one was hurt in the robbery.
At press time the suspect’s arraignment had not yet been scheduled.
Heck said the department does not believe the alleged robber is connected with any of the recent robberies in the area.
“Our feeling is it may be the first time he tried it,” he said, adding that the case could not have been solved as quickly without the help of the resident.
“This case was solved because a concerned citizen got involved and took the time to obtain the license plate number and description of the suspect’s vehicle,” he said.