Bank robbery suspect arrested after carjacking man, tying up employees in Sterling Heights

Posted at 11:13 AM, Oct 17, 2016
and last updated 2016-10-17 17:43:02-04

A 27-year-old Detroit man is under arrest in Sterling Heights, accused of a series of crimes including bank robbery, carjacking and kidnapping.

It began at the Vibe Credit Union on Van Dyke near 14 Mile Road Monday morning.

"I needed to save them," said a customer who was taken as a hostage and, once he was released, quickly returned to the credit union to help the three employees that he was forced to bind with duct tape at gunpoint earlier.

Sterling Heights Police say the robber was armed with three guns they later learned were fake.

Around 9:40 am, the robber announced the holdup and then handed the one customer, a commercial food vendor, a roll of duct tape.

After the customer was forced to duct tape the employees, the robber ordered him to drive him into a nearby neighborhood where the robber got out of the customer's truck. The customer was able to drive off in his own vehicle.

While calling 911, we're told the customer quickly returned to the credit union to help the employees.

Police from multiple jurisdictions set up a perimeter in the area and spotted the suspect. He was arrested after a short foot chase on Chatsworth near Irving.

The fake firearms and stolen money were recovered.

Police say it was when they began to search the area where the robber was seen coming from, that they spotted smoke coming from the roof of a nearby home.

Investigators say they soon realized that the robber had broken into a garage and set some of the evidence on fire before trying to flee.

A nearby school was placed on lockdown while police searched for the suspect, but that was lifted following his arrest.

The suspect is expected to appear in court as early as Tuesday to face a long list of charges including bank robbery and kidnapping.