By SUE SUCHYTA
Sunday Times Newspapers
A strong-arm robber hit 7-Eleven stores in Melvindale, Taylor and Dearborn Heights in an 18-hour span, feigning a purchase, then jumping across the counter to steal cash from the till.
The suspect, a white male in his mid 20s to early 30s, about 5 feet 10 inches to 6 feet tall, would approach the counter to make a purchase, and when the clerk opened the register, he would lunge across the counter to grab cash from the drawer.
The first known store to be hit was at 18210 Allen Road, in Melvindale, where the man went to purchase a banana. When the clerk opened the register, he dove across the counter and reached into the drawer, while the cashier shouted for her co-worker.
The second employee struck the thief, then tried to detain him, but the man escaped, running south through the parking lot and into a nearby neighborhood.
The thief was wearing a mask, a red flannel jacket, dark pants and shoes, and a gray knit cap, which fell off and was left behind in the struggle.
The next day, April 6, at 1:19 a.m., the same man is believed to have robbed a Taylor 7-Eleven at 20945 Ecorse Road.
The robber was wearing a surgical mask and a hoodie, with the hood pulled up. Once again, he purchased a banana, and when the clerk opened the cash drawer, he sprang across the counter to grab money from the till before running out of the store, running through a nearby neighborhood.
Five minutes later, the same man is believed to have hit a Dearborn Heights 7-Eleven at 5697 Pelham Road.
As at the other two stores, he carried a purchase to the counter, then jumped across the counter once the cash register was open, grabbing cash from the drawer. He then fled on foot.
He was wearing a hoodie that was light colored on top, with a Nike swoosh on the chest, with dark fabric below the chest and elbows. He was also wearing blue jeans and a dark-colored mask.
Anyone with information leading to the arrest of the robber are asked to call Sgt. Sara Lane in Melvindale, at 313-429-1070; Detective Sgt. Frank Canning in Taylor, at 734-374-1420; or Detective Sgt. Timothy Ciochon in Dearborn Heights at 313-277-6770.