Public helps foil attempted armed robbery of Saginaw Township Menard’s store

Published: Mar. 25, 2021 at 10:41 PM EDT
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SAGINAW TWP., Mich. (WJRT) (3/25/2021)--Saginaw Township Police have teamwork with the public to thank for bringing an accused armed robber to justice tonight.

What began as a shoplifting complaint at the Saginaw Township Menards around 4:30 Wednesday against a probationer became something else entirely. As police report, a group of civilians followed along every step of the way.

According to police, a Menard’s loss prevention worker confronted a suspected shoplifter Wednesday. The situation escalated quickly into something worse.

“He asked the individual to stop and return to the store with the stolen merchandise,” Saginaw Township Police Chief Donald Pussehl, junior related. “The suspect said no he was not going to return it and pointed a knife at him.”

The suspect then ran from the store and into the parking lot, police said, still allegedly armed with that knife. Witnesses told investigators the man then cut across Weineke in the direction of the US Post Office across the street.

“The suspect… discarded some items, clothing items, I believe and a piece of evidence,” Pussehl said. “A citizen who observed what was going on retrieved those items and turned them over.”

ABC12′s cameras retraced the suspect’s steps as he ran from the post office, potentially down a short stretch of Weineke, before crossing State a block away. By this point, another group of civilians was now in hot pursuit, according to police.

“They kept an eye on the suspect,” Pussehl explained. “He was kind of going in behind some businesses.”

Saginaw Township Police told ABC12 the accused shoplifter kept running, turning onto Brockway and finally stopping on the 5500 block behind the shuttered Brockway Roller Rink. That second group of good Samaritans had managed to follow his path through every twist and turn and turned the location of the suspect’s hiding spot over to police.

“Within 15 minutes, he was apprehended,” Pussehl related. “It was very quick.”

While Chief Pussehl said he never encourages civilians putting themselves in harm’s way…

“We’re very appreciative of what they did,” he said. “All came out well. Nobody was harmed.”

Police recovered the stolen gas gauge. The accused armed robber has yet to be arraigned. Again, ABC12 was told he is a probationer and this would constitute a violation along with the robbery itself, which is a life offense.

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