Articles Posted in Armed Robbery, Burglary, Home Invasion, Larceny, Retail Fraud

Two banks were recently robbed in Blackman-Leoni Township, both located on E. Michigan Avenue. Now, investigators believe that one man is responsible for robbing a FirstMerit Bank on January 31, and a Flagstar Bank branch on February 7, according to news articles at Mlive.com. us-currency-4-1007270-m

Public safety Detective Sgt. Christopher Boulter said that the individual who entered the Flagstar Bank resembled the individual who robbed the FirstMerit Bank, and that the perpetrator in both robberies was wearing the same mask. Boulter also said a similar method and weapon were used in the bank robberies.

On Friday February 7, the man entered the Flagstar Bank branch at approximately 4:30 in the afternoon; according to Boulter, the robber jumped a counter and demanded money after brandishing what appeared to be a semi-automatic handgun. The FirstMerit Bank, robbed just a week earlier, is located within one mile of Flagstar Bank. In the first robbery, the suspect was wearing a dark grey hooded sweatshirt and a black mask. The man demanded money while brandishing a black handgun.

The suspect had not been apprehended at the time of news reports, however, police have released bank camera surveillance photos. Following the second robbery on Friday, a police dog tracked the suspect to an area southwest of the bank on Wood Circle Drive. It is believed the suspect got into a vehicle and left at that point.

Bank robbery is a serious crime in Michigan, and is in fact a federal crime. When the suspect is eventually apprehended, it is likely he will face serious criminal charges for allegedly robbing both banks while armed. Armed robbery is a felony which will leave a person who is convicted facing substantial fines and prison time; depending on the circumstances, an individual may be sentenced to up to life in prison for armed robbery.

If you have been accused of a theft or larceny offense, take action immediately. Your career, freedom, and reputation are at stake. Consult with an experienced and aggressive Michigan criminal defense attorney who will work diligently to protect your freedom and help you avoid a conviction and harsh criminal penalties.

Reid Cook Hanson, a 36-year-old Grand Rapids Township man, was recently sentenced to four to 25 years in prison for robbing a Circle K gas station and convenience store located at 514 Michigan St. NE. Reid admitted to robbing the station on September 26, saying it was “the dumbest thing I’ve ever done in my life.” Reid was intoxicated at the time. gas-station-585609-m.jpg

News articles at Mlive.com say Hanson’s decision to rob the Circle K was spur-of-the-moment. He also insinuated the presence of a gun using his hand inside a pocket of his jacket while demanding money from a clerk. Employees were aware Hanson was intoxicated, but were not sure whether he was joking. Hanson’s defense lawyer said that store employees complied with his client’s demands for safety’s sake.

Hanson was apprehended the following day after fleeing the convenience store with an undisclosed amount of cash. At the sentencing hearing on January 6, Hanson’s attorney told Judge James Robert Redford “This was one of the dumber robberies I’ve ever seen.”

Hanson pleaded guilty to assault with intent to rob while armed. He apologized for his actions, telling the court that he occasionally has issues with substances.

Assault with intent to rob while armed is a felony offense in Michigan, punishable by any number of years up to life in prison. As the defendant admitted himself, this was a “dumb” mistake likely made due to the fact that he was intoxicated. Now he will spend at a minimum four years of his life behind bars, possibly 25.

Continue reading →

On Saturday, 22-year-old Ervin Dale Allen of Flint was arraigned on one count of felony firearm and four counts of armed robbery, according to news reports at Mlive.com. Allen allegedly robbed a Davison Check-n-Go on January 2. Authorities suspect he is also connected to similar robberies in Flint, Fenton, Grand Blanc, and Mt. Morris. gun-1213609-m.jpg

Davison police say the convenience store was robbed early in the morning at gunpoint. The defendant was arrested by police shortly after the robbery occurred and jailed. He is being held without bond pending a preliminary exam scheduled for January 14.

Davison police were assisted in the arrest of the defendant by the Mt. Morris and Grand Blanc Police Departments, along with the Flint Area Narcotics group.

Armed robbery is a very serious criminal offense in the state of Michigan. Stealing money from an establishment using violence, force, or instilling fear in individuals who are present may result in prison time of up to 15 years for those convicted. When a defendant is found guilty of possessing a dangerous weapon or even insinuating the presence of a weapon whether or not it is fact, he or she may face up to life in prison. The minimum prison sentence for an armed robbery conviction is two years. While no one wants to spend time behind bars, a conviction will also result in a criminal record, and possibly the ruin of your reputation and career. The damage is ultimately life-long.

Continue reading →

A 25-year-old Leoni Township man was recently arrested by police in connection with the armed robberies of two Leoni Township businesses, according to news articles at Mlive.com. The suspect’s name has not yet been released pending his arraignment on the charges. dont-think-just-walk-1387018-m.jpg

Police arrested the suspect on December 17; two charges were issued against him for armed robbery by the Jackson County Prosecutor’s Office according to Detective Sgt. Chris Boulter of the Blackman-Leoni Township Department of Public Safety.

On November 25, the suspect allegedly stole $16 from the purse of Charleen Shelby, owner of Shelby Shoe Outlet. Shelby said that the man came into the store and demanded she open the cash register, which was already open and contained no cash due to the fact it was early in the morning and no customers had made a purchase. Shelby said the man pointed a gun in her face two times, and demanded her purse after seeing that the registered contained no cash.

Police also believe the same man is responsible for the November 26 armed robbery of the Valero gas station located at 3501 Page Avenue. In this incident, a man wearing sunglasses, dark gloves, and a dark coat with the hood pulled up entered the station and brandished a handgun demanding money from a clerk. The amount of money the suspect took in this incident was not disclosed.

Armed robbery is a very serious offense; those convicted in Michigan will face extremely harsh criminal penalties. Whether an individual is actually in possession of a weapon or insinuates it, he or she may be charged with felony armed robbery. The maximum punishment if found guilty of this offense is life in prison. According to Michigan Penal Code 750.529, the minimum sentence for a conviction of armed robbery is two years. The criminal penalties you will face if convicted depend on a number of factors, including past criminal history.

Continue reading →

On April 6 of this year, the KFC located at 4040 Plainfield Ave. NE in Plainfield Township was robbed by a masked gunman who was recognized by two employees despite the ski mask he was wearing. Now, 45-year-old Ronnie Taylor has been convicted on several charges after robbing the KFC store of $2,000. fried-chicken-1328081-m.jpg

Taylor was convicted on November 27 of armed robbery, conspiracy to commit armed robbery, being a felon in possession of a weapon, felony firearms, and being a habitual offender according to news reports at Mlive.com.

Two employees at the restaurant said they recognized Taylor, a customer they had seen in the store on numerous occasions. An assistant manager at the location, Kathryn Kasper, claimed that Taylor demanded money, telling her he would shoot her while pointing a gun at her leg.

Taylor allegedly entered the KFC through a door at approximately 11 p.m. after an employee exited and did not lock the door behind him. While wearing a ski mask, he went to the back area and demanded money from the safe while pointing a handgun at employees. A cashier at the store said the $2,000 Taylor made off with was all that was in the safe.

Valery Reusser, a cashier at the store, said that several victims noticed the voice and eyes of the robber were familiar; they determined that Taylor was a former employee’s boyfriend, and said that he used to come into the store as his girlfriend’s shift was ending.

Taylor is thought to have had an accomplice in the robbery, 29-year-old Leonardo Simmons. Simmons role has not been revealed; he is awaiting trial. Taylor is scheduled to be sentenced on December 17.

Armed robbery is a very serious criminal offense, one that is punished harshly in the state of Michigan. In fact, those convicted may face up to life in prison when it is proven a dangerous weapon was used in the commission of the crime, or any article to insinuate the presence of a weapon, regardless of whether one actually existed.

Continue reading →

Recently, 26-year-old Chad Neiderquill was charged with robbing a Saginaw woman which he knew with a screwdriver. Neiderquill allegedly stole the woman’s prescription medication on September 4 as she was carrying in and putting away groceries. screwdriver-1215637-m.jpg

The victim, 60-year-old Lillian George, told police that Neiderquill was driving in the area as she was putting away groceries, and that he stopped and offered to help her. George said that once all of the groceries were inside, the defendant demanded that she give him her prescription medication, including oxycodone. Saginaw Police Detective Sgt. Reggie Williams said the woman claimed that when she refused, Neiderquill pulled a screwdriver out of a pocket to threaten her, holding it above her head and threatening that if she called police, he would claim George sold him the medications.

On Tuesday November 26, Neiderquill pleaded guilty to armed robbery before Saginaw County Circuit Judge James T. Borchard. He was initially charged with carrying a dangerous weapon with unlawful intent and extortion as well, however prosecutors dropped these charges in exchange for his guilty plea. A news article at Mlive.com indicates that prosecutors will recommend the judge sentence Neiderquill to three years and six months in prison, a minimum sentence for armed robbery according to the defendant’s state sentencing guidelines.

Neiderquill remains in jail on a $75,000 bond, and is scheduled to be sentenced by Borchard on January 9.

In this situation, pleading guilty to armed robbery possibly prevented the defendant from spending up to life in prison. In Michigan, anyone who uses fear, force, or violence in an attempt to steal money or possessions from a person and who does so while possessing or even insinuating the presence of a dangerous weapon may be sentenced to life behind bars according to the Michigan Penal Code 750.529.

Continue reading →

Late last week, 44-year-old Steven Krygowski of Jackson was arraigned on multiple charges stemming from a break-in at a neighbor’s apartment. News articles at Mlive.com state that Krygowski broke into the apartment of his neighbor, who was sleeping, and assaulted him. nVrl9dG.jpg

Jackson Police Lt. Elmer Hitt said that the suspect was charged with breaking and entering, assault with intent to rob while armed, and assault with a dangerous weapon. The victim, who is 69 years old, was found by police when they arrived at the scene with a head injury; police said he was talking and conscious when they arrived at approximately 4:30 a.m. He was listed in stable condition after being transported first to Allegiance Health, then to University of Michigan Medical Center in Ann Arbor.

Hitt claimed that the victim did not know what weapon Krygowski used to strike him with, however witnesses claimed to have seen Krygowski carrying a baseball bat when he exited the apartment. Police believe the victim and Krygowski were well acquainted, as the victim said that the defendant had mentioned something about giving him money while in the apartment.

Krygowski is scheduled to appear in court again on December 5.

The penalties an individual faces if convicted of breaking and entering in Michigan depend on the circumstances. Ultimately, what occurs once inside or what it is determined by police and prosecutors as your intentions will be key in sentencing. For instance, if someone breaks and enters a building with the intention of committing larceny, that individual may be sentenced to up to 10 years in prison. Additionally, assault with intent to rob could potentially leave the defendant facing up to 15 years in prison if convicted, even life in prison if in possession of a dangerous weapon when the crime was allegedly committed.

Continue reading →

A Nashville, TN man, 65-year-old George Edward Alexander, was recently charged in the death of a Jackson bar owner nearly 40 years ago. Alexander is now incarcerated in the Jackson County Jail awaiting a November 26 preliminary exam on charges of armed robbery and first-degree murder in the September 1975 shooting death of Edward Stankiewicz. a-beer-in-a-pub-1171697-m.jpg

Alexander was extradited from Tennessee on October 15 and arraigned by the county magistrate, according to a news article at Mlive.com. The nearly 40 year old case had grown cold, although Prosecutor Jerry Jarzynka said he did not know why. Jarzynka praised investigators Duaine Pittman and Nathan Gross for their diligent efforts in bringing about Alexander’s arrest. Because the evidence against the defendant has not yet been presented in court, Jarzynka would not reveal how the charges against Alexander came about.

In September of 1975, the victim was gunned down outside a bar on Michigan Avenue, then known as the Pink Elephant Bar. He was allegedly shot in the head and neck area, and died at a hospital emergency room. Authorities say that Stankiewicz was robbed of a briefcase containing about $700, the night’s receipts from the bar before being ambushed with a shotgun. Businessmen in the area at the time claim the victim had problems with gang members frequenting the bar, and that he was frequently threatened according to a 1975 story published in the Citizen Patriot.

Alexander lived in Jackson at the time of the alleged crime, and has served prison time for delivery of heroin and larceny from a person.

If convicted of first-degree murder Alexander will likely face life in prison, the maximum punishment in Michigan. Both armed robbery and murder are extremely serious crimes, leaving those accused facing the potential loss of their freedom forever.

Continue reading →

Last week we wrote about a case involving Demeatrius Tate, a 32-year-old man who allegedly committed two armed robberies and a carjacking in one day. On Monday, November 11, a Kent County jury found Tate not guilty of one of the alleged robberies, according to a news article at Mlive.com. In the alleged robbery of a couple on the same day, jurors could not reach a verdict after asking Judge Mark Trusock for explanations of identification and the legal standards for burden of proof. car-crime-scripted-480656-s.jpg

Tate’s co-defendant in the case, 18-year-old Atravius Riley, pleaded guilty to the crimes and is awaiting sentencing; he will face a minimum of 12 years in prison. One of the robberies involved Dominic Melton, an alleged victim who said he was talking on a cell phone inside his vehicle near Seward Avenue and Douglas Street NW when he was robbed by Atravius Riley, who was holding a gun to his chest. He alleges that Riley forced him to drive to an ATM machine to withdraw money. Melton also stated that he saw a van in which Riley was a passenger with Tate driving. Ultimately, Tate’s defense attorney argued that the evidence was insufficient to connect his client to the robbery; the jury agreed.

Tate will be retried in the robbery of the couple who jurors could not come to a verdict on. He remains incarcerated at the Kent County Jail awaiting a new trial date.

In August, Tate was offered a deal by prosecutors to plead guilty in exchange for a reduced minimum sentence, which would have left him facing 13 to 21 years in prison. After listening to the options explained by Judge Mark Trusock, Tate declined to plead guilty. Tate is a repeat offender with a criminal record; had he been convicted on all of the charges against him, he would have faced a minimum sentence of approximately 14 years and up to 40 years behind bars; his sentence may have also been enhanced due to his repeat offender status.

Michigan criminal defense lawyers understand that having to choose between going to trial or accepting a plea offer from prosecutors is stressful. The stakes are high in cases involving serious or violent crimes such as armed robbery, carjacking, or even murder.

Continue reading →

On Wednesday October 23, 17-year-old Sergei Ryan Guider, a Forest Hills Eastern High School student, pleaded guilty to home invasion after allegedly breaking into a home in the 2700 block of Montreat Court NE. The break-in took place in August of this year; another high school student, Shane Aaron Homrich, was also charged in the home invasion. street-kid-448211-m.jpg

The two teenagers allegedly entered the home through the garage, and were confronted by Alexander Justin Pitt, the homeowner’s son and a former classmate of the two, as they were in the process of stealing items. Pitt trapped the two after finding them in the basement, according to a news article at Mlive.com. Guider and Homrich were captured at knifepoint by Pitt, who held them captive until Kent County Sheriff’s deputies arrived on the scene.

The two teens were charged with first-degree home invasion. News reports indicate that neither had a criminal record. On Tuesday, James Benison, Assistant Kent County Prosecutor, informed the judge that the prosecutor’s office would not be opposed to Guider being sentenced under HYTA (Holmes Youthful Trainee Act). Under HYTA, an individual under the age of 21 who does not commit another felony offense and who adheres to the terms of probation will have a felony conviction removed from his/her record.

Shane Homrich is scheduled to appear in court on November 26, and will likely receive a similar offer according to news reports. Both of the teens remain free on a $5,000 bond.

Michigan criminal defense attorneys realize that teenagers often get involved in mischief, never realizing the serious consequences of their actions. Had these two high school students been 21 or older or sentenced as adults, they would have faced up to 20 years in prison, the maximum sentence in Michigan for a home invasion conviction.

Continue reading →