Police nab three men suspected in 'Pillowcase Robberies' - ABC 12 – WJRT – Flint, MI

Police nab three men suspected in 'Pillowcase Robberies'

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(04/02/12) - Three men woke up behind bars at the Shiawassee County Jail Monday morning, accused of robbing five financial institutions since January.

Saginaw Township Police had dubbed them the 'Pillowcase Robbers'. "He was using a pillowcase, typically to conceal the money that he had taken," explained Saginaw Township Police Chief Don Pussehl.

They had not been formally charged by a judge as of Monday, but we did learn they are ages 19, 23 and 32. They all live the city of Saginaw, according to Pussehl.

The trio was arrested on Friday after robbing the Fifth Third Bank in Owosso, and then leading police on a high speed chase through Shiawassee and Saginaw counties. They were arrested after police used the tire deflation device called Stop Sticks, to get their vehicle to stop.

Pussehl says evidence was found linking them to the Owosso bank robbery, and four others that happened in Saginaw Township.

The first happened at the Independent Bank in the 1400 block of N. Center Road on Jan. 30. The second took place at United Financial Credit Union in the 2500 block of Weiss Street on Feb. 6. The Bank of America in the 4800 block of State Street was robbed on March 12. UFCU was hit a second time on March 27.

In each robbery a gun was used when demanding money. No one was hurt, but at the first UFCU robbery one of the robbers fired a gun inside a credit union.

Investigators are trying to determine where the 'Pillowcase Robbers' will be charged. "Due to the fact that in our opinion we have a serial bank robber here that was involved in these five robberies, the FBI is assisting us in evaluating the charges to determine if federal charges would apply in this case," Pussehl said.

Gigi Scheyko lives a block away from the UFCU and was home both times it was robbed.

"Quite scary you know, especially because the hadn't caught them," Scheyko said. "They could have been hiding in my backyard, you don't know."

Tracking dogs helped search for the robbers outside of UFCU, but it was of little use because a getaway car and driver waited nearby.

While the robbers stuck to banks and credit unions, one neighbor who asked that we didn't use him name, felt like a potential target too.

"I would leave the door open because I'm in and out of the house when I'm outside. And then now every time I come out I lock the door."

Monday morning brought some relief when word started to spread that three arrests were made at the end of a police chase that started after Friday's robbery in Owosso.

"When I heard they were caught, I thought, 'oh my goodness, thank God'," Scheyko said.

"We can be relieved that they are in custody, and should be staying in custody for a long time," added Pussehl.

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