On Monday February 25, a Canton Verizon Wireless store located on Ford Road was the target of an armed robbery which resulted in four elementary schools in Canton being placed on lockdown. According to news reports at MyFoxDetroit.com, three suspects entered the store, one carrying an assault rifle. The three suspects, who were described as black men, were reportedly wearing masks during the commission of the armed robbery.
The lockdown was lifted on the elementary schools after police apprehended the suspects; according to Canton Police Lt. Debra Newsome, the lockdown was lifted at approximately 12:15 p.m., just over an hour after the robbery occurred. The schools that were under the lockdown include Bentley, Eriksson, Field, and Hoben Elementary schools.
Following the robbery, the three suspects got into a vehicle and fled; when police spotted the vehicle near Saltz and Oakview, they rammed it with a patrol car after the suspects refused to stop, according to a witness, Jack Cardwell. Cardwell explained that once the officer struck the car, the three suspected (who Cardwell described as "kids") got out of the vehicle and fled on foot toward the woods.
Ironically, the suspects left clues for the police officers, who quickly apprehended the three men. After running out of the woods, the snow on the ground revealed footprints which were pointing in the direction of a storm cellar located on Willard. This is where police found the suspects.
According to Sergeant Mark Gajeski, no weapons were found on the suspects, but there were weapons discovered in the vehicle that Gajeski said would be considered the "automatic weapons" that employees from Verizon reported. No one was injured in the robbery, and police reported that no shots were fired. However, police believe that the suspects match the description of individuals who may have been involved in two other armed robberies in Garden City and Westland.
As all experienced Michigan armed robbery attorneys know, individuals who are convicted on a charge of armed robbery face serious criminal penalties. The minimum sentence is two years in prison; however, when money or property is stolen and a weapon is involved (or even the insinuation of a weapon), those accused may face life in prison if found guilty.
Regardless of how serious you believe the crime to be, if you have been arrested for robbery, whether armed or unarmed, it is to your benefit to consult with an aggressive and skilled Michigan criminal defense lawyer right away. Your future and freedom could depend on it.