Bank robbery follows threats to schools, hospitals, businesses in four counties

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MID-MICHIGAN (WJRT) (9/6/2019) - Several threats called in to schools, hospitals, banks and businesses in four Mid-Michigan counties kept dozens of police agencies busy right after a bank robbery.

Police were investigating a robbery at the Rose City Mercantile Bank in Ogemaw County on Friday morning. While there, calls reported "explosive devices" at several locations in Arenac, Iosco, Ogemaw, Roscommon counties.

Arenac County sheriff deputies located the suspect's pickup truck near Sterling around 11:30 a.m. and initiated a traffic stop, but he fled. Police chased the truck down M-61 until an officer caused it to spin out and stop.

However, the suspect was able to escape from police and run into a cornfield near the intersection of M-61 and Lincoln Road. Police established a perimeter around the cornfield while the Standish Area Fire Authority launched a drone to search from overhead.

Michigan State Police confirmed the suspect was arrested around noon when he attempted to run across a road. He was not immediately identified while authorities file formal criminal charges.

Meanwhile, Michigan State Police were investigating the spate of threats, but none appear to be credible. Several school districts in those counties went into secure mode as a precaution while K-9 teams search for any suspicious devices.

The Roscommon County Sheriff's Office said local, state and federal authorities were collaborating on the investigation. All of the threats were being taken seriously even though police have no evidence they are credible.

Police were at every school Roscommon County to provide additional security. Only Charlton Heston Academy canceled classes for the day on Friday while other schools continued classes with added security.

Au Gres-Sims School District and Whittemore-Prescott Area Schools both were in a soft lockdown Friday morning while the threats were investigated.

Hospitals in Standish, West Branch, Grayling and Gaylord also received threats. MidMichigan Medical Center in West Branch was on a soft lockdown.

No injuries were reported at the bank robbery or the facilities that received threats. Investigators haven't said how much money was taken from the bank.

Police were investigating who called in the threats and the bank robbery Friday morning. Michigan State Police tweeted a photo showing a black pickup truck possibly involved in the bank robbery.

Anyone with information on the robbery or the threats should call the Michigan State Police West Branch Post at 989-345-0956.


Michigan State Police believe the black pickup truck in this photo was involved in the robbery at Rose City Mercantile Bank in Ogemaw County.