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Man uses gun-shaped lighter to rob local Meijer

Posted at 6:16 PM, Dec 04, 2015

Livonia police have a suspected armed robber in custody after they say he stole cash under the guise he was making a quick purchase. It turns out the weapon he had was also just for show.

Surveillance video shows the man in his 50s walking up to the checkout lane at Meijer on Middlebelt around 10:40 p.m. Nov. 24.

The man is seen giving the clerk some cash to buy a couple of oranges.

Police say he was holding what appeared to be a chrome semi-automatic gun in his right hand, and, as soon as the clerk opens the cash register, the man reached over and grabbed a stack of $20 bills before running off.

A Good Samaritan ran after the thief, but he got away. He dropped his ID on the ground, which was handed over to police who used it to track him down and arrest him Thursday afternoon.

Police say the weapon he had was in fact a gun-shaped cigarette lighter. It's unclear whether he intended to intimidate the clerk with it.

Police say it will be up to the Wayne County Prosecutor to decide whether the man will still be charged with armed robbery