By BOB OLIVER
HEIGHTS — Less than two weeks after being the target of an armed robbery, TCF Bank, 25488 Michigan Ave., was struck again.
Police officers were dispatched to the bank just after 1 p.m. Sept. 9 after being notified that the holdup alarm had been set off and a GPS tracker was activated.
Officers arrived and located the tracker in a driveway of a residence near the intersection of Gulley and Fairway but found no one in the surrounding area.
They then went to the bank and spoke to a teller, who said a man had entered the bank, approached a teller window and said, “Give me what you have.”
The teller put cash into a black, plastic grocery bag and was able to activate the holdup alarm.
The teller was also able to place a GPS transmitter in the bag with the cash. The man then took the bag fled the bank.
The robber was described as a black male, 6 feet to 6 feet 3 inches tall, medium build and wearing a blue T-shirt and blue jeans and carrying a semi-automatic handgun.
The man was also wore a surgical mask, which Detective Sgt. Michael Petri said is leading police to believe the robbery is connected to seven others that have occurred around metropolitan Detroit since July 13.
In those robberies — which all occurred at banks in Westland, Dearborn and Lathrup Village except the first at a 7-Eleven in Westland — a man entered the businesses wearing a surgical mask, “old man” masks or other disguises.
Petri said it is believed there is more than one person conducting the robberies and that the investigation is ongoing.
The TCF bank also was robbed Aug. 31, when police officers were notified just before noon that a holdup alarm had been triggered at the bank and dispatched to the scene.
Officers arrived and spoke to the bank manager, who said a man entered the bank, walked up to a window, pointed a black handgun at the teller and demanded cash.
Both the teller and manager were ordered to place cash in a bag provided by the robber, and the manager was able to slip a GPS unit into the bag before the man fled on foot.
Police found the GPS unit a few blocks from the bank a short time after the robbery.
The robber was described by employees as a black male who was just over 6 feet tall, weighing about 225 pounds, wearing a blue striped shirt, blue jeans, a black baseball cap and dark sunglasses.
Anyone with information about either of the robberies is asked to contact the Police Department at 313-277-6770.
(Bob Oliver can be reached at [email protected].)