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Tag Archive | "robbery"

Bank robber sentenced to 151 months in federal prison 


This was the scene after bank robber Edward Ray Lucas crashed his car into another vehicle after a bank robbery in Sand Lake on August 18, 2016.

Acting U.S. Attorney Andrew Birge announced on Thursday, August 17, that U.S. District Judge Paul L. Maloney sentenced Lucas to 151 months in federal prison, and also ordered Lucas to serve three years of supervised release following his release from prison and pay a special assessment of $100.

On August 18, 2016, Edward Lucas robbed the Independent Bank of Sand Lake, Michigan. Lucas handed a manila envelope to a teller with these words on it: “This is a Robbery. 100s, 50s, 20s. No die packs.” The teller gave Lucas $5,550, and he fled in a silver Chevy Impala.

A detailed description of the suspect and his vehicle were given to dispatchers. His description was relayed to all police units in the northern part of Kent County as well as to Montcalm County dispatch. Twenty minutes later, a vehicle that matched the description of the suspect’s vehicle was spotted on 17 Mile Road in Cedar Springs. A Kent County Sheriff deputy was able to see the driver, who also matched the description that had been broadcasted. The vehicle then ramped onto southbound US-131 as the deputy followed. Once a second deputy caught up to the first, they made a traffic stop, but the suspect then sped away, continuing south on US-131. Police said the vehicle reached speeds up to 90 mph before slowing down and exiting on Post Dr. The suspect vehicle turned onto Post Drive heading toward Belmont.

A very short time later the suspect’s vehicle appeared to cross into oncoming traffic, side swiping a Jeep Liberty before hitting a second vehicle head on. The suspect’s vehicle then left the roadway and rolled two or three times before coming to a rest.

As deputies approached the suspect’s vehicle, the engine compartment burst into flames. Deputies were able to pull the suspect from the vehicle and use an extinguisher to extinguish the fire. They also found the demand note and $5,550 in cash in the vehicle.

A Michigan State Police Sergeant, who saw the crash, said that it looked like the suspect appeared to deliberately stray across the centerline to crash into the other vehicle.

Two individuals from the vehicle that was hit head on were treated at the scene and released. One person from the Jeep Liberty was transported to the hospital with minor injuries. The suspect was transported with much more severe injuries to Butterworth Hospital, where it was determined that he broke his leg, injured his neck, and suffered a severe contusion to his chest.

Judge Maloney noted that Lucas seriously risked the lives of others in fleeing from the robbery. Judge Maloney also noted Lucas had a high risk of returning to bank robbery someday, given that he had two prior bank robbery convictions in Michigan state courts. He was previously convicted of committing two bank robberies in 1999.

The Kent County Sheriff’s Office, Michigan State Police, and Federal Bureau of Investigation jointly investigated Lucas’s case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Davin M. Reust prosecuted it.

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Admiral robber offered plea deal


 

By Judy Reed

Jacob Abraham Savickas

Jacob Savickas, 33, the man who robbed the Cedar Springs Admiral gas station on July 27 and a string of other businesses here in Michigan and Ohio (including two banks) in the days that followed, has been offered a deal by the Kent County Prosecutor’s Office.

According to Kent County Prosecutor Chris Becker, if Savickas accepts the deal, he will plead guilty to a bank robbery charge as a third-time offender and two other felony cases, which have yet to be decided. In exchange, prosecutors will dismiss all the other charges he faces in Kent County. The bank robbery charge involves the Independent Bank on Plainfield Ave, which he robbed on August 2.

Federal authorities have also agreed not to pursue charges for the bank robbery.

As of press time Wednesday, Savickas had not yet made a decision.

Savickas started his crime spree Wednesday, July 26, when he is suspected of an unarmed robbery of the J&H Mobil gas station at 4404 Clyde Park Ave., Wyoming. He then robbed the Admiral gas station on the corner of Main and Muskegon Street in Cedar Springs the next day, Thursday, July 27.

Police found him at the rest stop on US-131 near 10 Mile Rd., but after a brief foot chase, he got back into his car and sped away. Police pursued him, but terminated the chase on 10 Mile Rd. The Admiral clerk had reportedly told police that he had a small child with him.

Savickas drove to Indiana later that day, and is suspected of robbing two more gas stations that day in South Bend—the Marathon gas station on W. Western Ave, and Low Bob’s, 4505 N. Ameritech Dr.

The next day, Friday, July 28, Savickas is suspected of committing an unarmed bank robbery at the Beacon Credit Union, 820 North Broadway, in Peru, Indiana. On Tuesday, August 1, Savickas was back in Michigan, and is suspected of robbing the Next Door Food Store at 4616 Alpine Ave., N.W., where he struck the clerk with his vehicle. He is also suspected of robbing the Independent Bank, 3090 Plainfield Ave NE on Wednesday morning August 2.

Savickas was arrested at a Grand Rapids hotel on August 9 by the FBI Fugitive Task Force.

He is still lodged in the Kent County Correctional Facility on 10 charges in three different courts, including bank robbery, multiple counts of larceny from a person, fleeing and eluding a police officer, parole absconder, and being a habitual offender.

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Man who robbed Cedar Springs Admiral now in custody


Jacob Abraham Savickas

by Judy Reed

The man who robbed the Cedar Springs Admiral gas station and a string of other businesses here in Michigan and Ohio (including two banks) is now in custody at the Kent County Correctional Facility.

According to the Kent County Sheriff Department, Jacob Abraham Savickas, 33, of Howard City, was arrested without incident on Wednesday, August 9, at a local hotel, by the FBI Fugitive Task Force. He was lodged at the jail on several warrants, including bank robbery, larceny from a person, fleeing and eluding a police officer, parole absconder, and being a habitual offender.

Savickas started his crime spree Wednesday, July 26, when he is suspected of an unarmed robbery of the J&H Mobil gas station at 4404 Clyde Park Ave., Wyoming. He then robbed the Admiral gas station on the corner of Main and Muskegon Street in Cedar Springs the next day, Thursday, July 27. According to the Kent County Sheriff Department, the robbery occurred about 9:22 a.m. The clerk told police that a white male in his late 20s came in and demanded money. He was described as wearing a white shirt, blue baseball cap, and having facial hair.

Police found him at the rest stop on US-131 near 10 Mile Rd., but after a brief foot chase, he got back into his car and sped away. Police pursued him, but terminated the chase on 10 Mile Rd. The Admiral clerk had reportedly told police that he had a small child with him.

Savickas drove to Indiana later that day, and is suspected of robbing two more gas stations that day in South Bend—the Marathon gas station on W. Western Ave, and Low Bob’s, 4505 N. Ameritech Dr. Both were unarmed robberies.

The next day, Friday, July 28, Savickas is suspected of committing an unarmed bank robbery at the Beacon Credit Union, 820 North Broadway, in Peru, Indiana. On Tuesday, August 1, Savickas was back in Michigan, and is suspected of robbing the Next Door Food Store at 4616 Alpine Ave., N.W., where he struck the clerk with his vehicle. He is also suspected of robbing the Independent Bank, 3090 Plainfield Av NE on Wednesday morning August 2. All were unarmed robberies.

Savickas was previously convicted in 2015 of retail fraud, first degree. He was arrested after he tried to steal plasma cutters from Family Farm and Home in Cedar Springs. Employees recognized him at the time as someone who previously stole welders and interrupted the theft of the plasma cutters. He fled but was arrested and held on six charges, several for retail fraud at other locations. He was sentenced to a minimum of one year and a maximum of five years in prison. His record on the Michigan Corrections website shows him listed as a parole absconder as of July 6.

 

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Police seek suspect in robberies


The Admiral Gas Station, 194 S. Main, in Cedar Springs, was robbed on Thursday, July 27. Post photo by J. Reed.

Jacob Abraham Savickas is suspected of robbing a string of businesses in Michigan and Indiana.

By Judy Reed

Police are asking for the public’s to help to locate the man wanted for a string of robberies in Michigan and Indiana, including the robbery Thursday, July 27, of the Cedar Springs Admiral gas station.

Savickas is driving this blue Oldsmobile Intrigue.

Police are looking for Jacob Abraham Savickas, 33. He is described as a white male, 5 feet 10 inches, 170 pounds, with short brown hair and a beard. He is driving a blue/purple Oldsmobile Intrigue 4D, Michigan plate DNL1257. He reportedly has family in the Howard City area.

If anyone sees him or knows where he is, please call the Kent County Sheriff Department at 616-632-6125, or Silent Observer at 616-774-2345.

Savickas started his crime spree last Wednesday, July 26, when he is suspected of an unarmed robbery of the J&H Mobil gas station at 4404 Clyde Park Ave., Wyoming. He then robbed the Admiral gas station on the corner of Main and Muskegon Street in Cedar Springs the next day, Thursday, July 27. According to the Kent County Sheriff Department, the robbery occurred about 9:22 a.m. The clerk told police that a white male in his late 20s came in and demanded money. He was described as wearing a white shirt, blue baseball cap, and having facial hair.

Police found him at the rest stop on US-131 near 10 Mile Rd., but after a brief foot chase, he got back into his car and sped away. Police pursued him, but terminated the chase on 10 Mile Rd. The Admiral clerk had reportedly told police that he had a small child with him.

Savickas drove to Indiana later that day, and is suspected of robbing two more gas stations that day in South Bend—the Marathon gas station on W. Western Ave, and Low Bob’s, 4505 N. Ameritech Dr.

The next day, Friday, July 28, Savickas is suspected of committing an unarmed bank robbery at the Beacon Credit Union, 820 North Broadway, in Peru, Indiana. On Tuesday, August 1, Savickas was back in Michigan, and is suspected of robbing the Next Door Food Store at 4616 Alpine Ave., N.W., where he struck the clerk with his vehicle. He is also suspected of robbing the Independent Bank, 3090 Plainfield Av NE on Wednesday morning August 2.

Multiple law enforcement agencies are looking for Savickas, including the FBI.

“We believe this will continue and potentially escalate until Savickas is located and arrested,” said Det. Mike Tanis, with the Kent County Sheriff’s Dept.

Savickas was convicted in 2015 of retail fraud, first degree. He was arrested for trying to steal plasma cutters from Family Farm and Home in Cedar Springs. Employees recognized him at the time as someone who previously stole welders and interrupted the theft of the plasma cutters. He fled but was arrested and held on six charges, several for retail fraud. He was sentenced to a minimum of one year and a maximum of five years in prison. His record on the Michigan Corrections website shows him listed as a parole absconder as of July 6.

Current warrants out for him include parole absconder, two counts of larceny from a person, and fleeing and eluding.

The last time the Admiral Gas station in Cedar Springs was robbed was four years ago. It was robbed once in 2010; once in 2011; twice in 2012; and once in 2013.

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Elderly man jailed on larceny, assault charges


Kent County Sheriff Deputies arresting Andrew DiPiazza. Post photo by J. Reed.

Kent County Sheriff Deputies arresting Andrew DiPiazza. Post photo by J. Reed.

Andrew Angelo DiPiazza

Andrew Angelo DiPiazza

A 78-year-old Cedar Springs man was arrested Tuesday after he reportedly attempted to rob Link Wireless, 25 S. Main Street.

The Kent County Sheriff Department was dispatched to a possible attempted armed robbery at the store at 2:45 p.m., November 15. The suspect was described as a man in his 70s that presented a small knife and was wearing a baseball cap. According to Deputy Joel Roon, the man was reportedly asked to leave and he did.

Deputies searched the area and located a man that fit the description a couple of blocks north of the store. Andrew Angelo DiPiazza, 78, was initially arrested on an armed robbery charge and lodged in the Kent County Jail.

The armed robbery charge was later dropped, and DiPiazza was instead arraigned on Wednesday on charges of assault with a dangerous weapon, attempted larceny from a building, and habitual offender—4th offense.

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Police seek robbery suspect


Sparta Police are looking for the suspect that robbed the Sparta Hometown Pharmacy, at 11 S. State  about 2:35 a.m. Friday morning, May 13.

Chief Andrew Milanowski said they are looking for a white male, approximately 5 feet 10 inches, 200 pounds.

The suspect entered the building by smashing out the front glass door. The alarm was activated and by the time police responded minutes later the suspect was already gone.

Surveillance video was made available, and the police are asking for help to identify the suspect.

Tips can be called into the Sparta Police Dispatch line at 616-887-7331 or Silent Observer at 616-774-2345, they also maybe given on line at Silentobserver.org or the Sparta Police Department Facebook page @ WWW.facebook.com/spartamichiganpolice.

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Attempted robbers of jewelry store sentenced 


Left to Right: Darnell Brown, Charles Fortune, Zack Cender.

Left to Right: Darnell Brown, Charles Fortune, Zack Cender.

Three men from East Lansing were sentenced this week for their roles in the attempted robbery of a jewelry store in Plainfield Township in January.

According to U. S. Attorney Patrick Miles, Judge Janet T. Neff sentenced both Darnell Kenneth-Maurice Brown, 23, and Charles Milton Fortune, 22, to 30 months in prison, and Zackary Ian Cender, 19, to 12 months and one day in prison.

On the morning of January 23, Brown, Cender, and Fortune, along with four other men, left Lansing for Grand Rapids, in two cars, for the purpose of robbing a jewelry store in Grand Rapids.

They drove by the jewelry store, at 4518 Plainfield NE, north of 5 Mile Rd, before parking at a nearby apartment complex. They then stole a pickup truck, and Brown, Cender, and three others travelled to the jewelry store in the stolen truck. Fortune and another stayed with the cars at the apartment complex. Once at the store, the driver waited in the truck while four robbers, including Brown and Cender, entered. Brown acted as a lookout, while Cender and two others went to jewelry cases containing Rolex watches and began smashing the glass cases with short-handled sledgehammers. Employees and customers fled the showroom. The robbery was disrupted when one of the employees returned to the showroom and fired a weapon in the direction of the robbers.

The suspects fled the scene, then abandoned the stolen vehicle and were seen getting into two different vehicles: a black Chevy Impala, and a new silver Dodge Durango. Kent County Sheriff Sgt. Bryan Muir was responding to the call when he witnessed the black Impala traveling eastbound on I-96. He waited for backup to arrive before conducting a felony stop on I-96 near M-6. Brown, Cender, and Fortune were then taken into custody. The other four conspirators escaped and have yet to be charged.

“This was a carefully planned attempted robbery,” U.S. Attorney Miles said. “The coordination and circumstances of this robbery indicate that these defendants had help. We are asking for the public’s assistance in identifying the other perpetrators of this criminal act and in bringing them to justice.”

The U.S. Attorney noted that the public can contact the Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”) at (313) 965-2323 with any information about this case.

“The audacity with which this robbery was committed posed a substantial threat to the business place and public-at-large, and will not be tolerated,” stated Paul M. Abbate, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Detroit Field Office. “The FBI, along with its law enforcement partners on both sides of the state, is committed to seeing that all of the co-conspirators involved in this case are arrested and brought to justice, and will not stop pursuing them until this is accomplished.”

The FBI and the Kent County Sheriff’s Department are investigating this case. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Justin M. Presant and Daniel Y. Mekaru are prosecuting it.

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Three charged in robbery of  elderly woman


 

Kireonta Devonne Hale

Kireonta Devonne Hale

Keenan James Gosselin

Keenan James Gosselin

Keenan James Gosselin

Keenan James Gosselin

Three teens were arraigned Wednesday, April 15, in 63rd District Court for robbing an elderly woman in Cedar Springs Mobile Estates last month.

According to Sgt. Jason Kelley, of the Cedar Springs Unit of the Kent County Sheriff Department, deputies and detectives responded to the 300 block of Allan St, located in the Cedar Springs Mobile Estates, on a report of an Unarmed Robbery. A 70 year old Greenville woman was assaulted and items stolen from her person. The suspect fled the area and an investigation ensued.

Through the investigation, detectives were able to identify three suspects believed to be involved in the planning and execution of the robbery. On April 14, 2015, Kent County Sheriff Department Deputies and Detectives arrested Kevin Charles Decanter, 18; Keenan James Gosselin, 18; and Kireonta Devonne Hale, 17, all of Cedar Springs.  They were arraigned Wednesday on charges of unarmed robbery, conspiracy to commit robbery, and using a computer to commit a crime. Bond was set at $25,000 for each of them.

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Sparta police seek info on armed robbery


 

Police are asking for the public’s assistance to identify two suspects that robbed a Sparta gas station Monday, January 12th.

The robbery occurred Monday, January 12, about 10 p.m., at the AGO gas station, 560 E. Division in Sparta.

Sparta Police Chief Andrew Milanowski said the suspects are believed to be in their late teens to mid 20’s.  A black revolver type handgun was used in the incident, and the suspects obtained an undisclosed amount of cash. No one was injured. There was no further information available.

If anyone has any information on these suspects please contact the Sparta Police Department 24 hour dispatch at 616-887-7331 or Silent Observer at 616-774-2345.

 

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Robbery suspects to be sentenced


Thaddeus Frazier

Thaddeus Frazier

Two men suspected of robbing the Instant Cash Advance in Cedar Springs last summer have made plea agreements with the Federal prosecutor.

Thaddeus Frazier, 32, and Mujo Bektas, 26, are suspected in several bank robberies and a string of Instant Cash Advance robberies in Wyoming. The crime in Cedar Springs occurred on July 24, 2013.

Frazier pled guilty to two counts of bank robbery by force or violence; two counts of use of a firearm during a crime; and possession of a stolen firearm. He will be sentenced June 3, and should receive 25 years if the judge follows the guideline.

Bektas pled guilty to bank robbery and using a firearm during a crime. Detectives believe he was possibly the driver in most of the robberies. He will be sentenced May 28, and should get 10 years.

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