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‘It’s like robbing from a charity:’ American Legion in Standish robbed

Search for suspect continues in a crime undersheriff calls “dastardly.”

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Arenac County Sheriff's Department

ARENAC COUNTY, Mich. (WJRT) - A veterans organization in mid-Michigan is reeling after someone robbed an American Legion post of thousands of dollars.

It was closing time last night in Standish when a man came into the hall, grabbed the employee, and forced her to put the money in a box.

Several law enforcement agencies searched the area, but the suspect is still on the loose.

There were no injuries, but a few thousand dollars were taken from an organization that’s been struggling a bit with dwindling membership, the pandemic, and now a robbery.

“I can’t believe somebody would do that to an organization, we help the community every chance we get,” says an emotional Ed Townsend, the commander of American Legion Post 104.

“It’s like stealing from charity, who does that,” asks Dawn Royer.

It was Royer who was closing up the American Legion Hall just after 7:30 p.m. Monday night when a man entered the building from a back door where Royer was counting money.

“He had me by the back of the hair, and he was like keeping my head like this, and he kept, put that in there, empty that in there,” says Royer of the scary experience.

She says the man ran off into woods behind the hall. Its not clear if he had a weapon. Police and a K-9 searched the area but he was not found. The total amount stolen is believed to be a few thousand dollars, but the final tally is still being calculated.

The robbery of veteran’s organization, which has seen a decline in membership and has had to adjust during the pandemic, shocked many in the community.

“They have been struggling to find a way to make it work, and for this to happen, absolutely that person is pretty dastardly,” says Arenac County Undersheriff Don McIntyre.

“People don’t care when they want money, they know we have money here all the time, we have Keno and we have tickets and stuff like that, but the money we make is put back in the community all the time,” says Townsend.

Several hours after the robbery, the post was hosting a COVID-19 and flu vaccine clinic for the county.

“We are not going to rest until we catch this subject,” says McIntyre.

Veteran’s Day is next week.

The suspect is described as a white male, about five foot nine with a muscular build and if you have any information, you are asked to call the Arenac County Sheriff’s Department.

Copyright 2021 WJRT. All rights reserved.

Anchor/Reporter

Terry Camp anchors ABC12 News First at Four and ABC12 News at 5:30. He also reports on issues in the Great Lakes Bay Region.

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