On Thursday August 22, 49-year-old Michael Loren Smith allegedly robbed a bank in downtown Grand Rapids. Smith is said to have robbed the Chase Bank located at 200 Ottawa Ave. NW to support his crack-cocaine addiction.
The robbery took place at about 4:30 in the afternoon; as Smith was walking near the Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital on Michigan Street NE, a Grand Rapids police officer spotted him counting the cash. Coincidentally, a call went out at the same time on the Grand Rapid Police Department’s radio frequency alerting of a downtown Grand Rapids bank robbery. FBI special agent Douglas Brownback reported that Smith looked at the officer who was watching him walk down the street, then fled into the hospital’s lobby. Security officers at the hospital detained the suspect in the lobby’s bathroom.
According to the FBI, Smith approached a teller at the Chase Bank as he was holding a debit card; the teller assumed he wanted to withdraw money. Smith then said, “You don’t understand, I have a gun, put the money on the counter.” He allegedly then said he had a gun as he grabbed the waistband of his pants. After complying with his demands, police found Smith had $1,926 in cash on him. FBI agents said the suspect admitted to robbing the bank, and said that his motivation was his addiction to crack cocaine.
Smith was convicted of robbing the same bank of $2,000 in 2005 when it was called Bank One.
Michigan federal criminal attorneys know the penalties for crimes prosecuted at the federal level are extremely severe for those convicted. In fact, an individual who robs a bank may be sentenced to life in prison, regardless of whether he/she was successful in obtaining money or property. The fact that Smith implied the presence of a weapon may leave him facing additional penalties.
Any individual who is accused of bank robbery or any theft or larceny offense should obtain the services of a skilled and capable Michigan criminal defense lawyer at once. You must take action to protect not only your legal rights, but freedom, reputation, and future.