Police: Bank robbers have been caught

News LeaderFebruary 17, 2014 

Police are crediting the public in helping identify two men accused of committing an armed robbery in Highland on Valentine’s Day.

"Social media has been a big player in this for us," said Highland Police Chief Terry Bell.

Bell said that one of the suspects was taken into custody without incident in Highland about 6:30 p.m. on Sunday. A second suspect was taken into custody without incident at 12:45 a.m. on Monday in Jackson County, Mich., Bell said. Neither man has been identified yet, because formal charges have yet to be filed.

According to police, at around 8:30 a.m. on Friday, a man armed with a handgun held up a Bradford National Bank employee as she was attending to an ATM machine outside the bank, located at 1100 Mercantile Drive. The employee was not injured, but the robber got away with an unspecified amount of cash that was in the ATM cassette.

Soon after the robbery, police released a surveillance camera image of the masked suspect. Police then poured over 20 hours of video from various other cameras around town and found images of the suspects’ vehicle, as well as the suspects themselves exiting Highland Walmart, this time without masks, about an hour before the robbery at the bank. After circulating the additional images to traditional media outlets, the social media sharing began, and soon the suspects were identified and captured, Bell said.

"It gets so many eyes on it. It’s like we are able to go door-to-door and show those pictures," Bell said. "It’s like adding all kinds of investigators out in the field."

Bell said the two suspects were not local, but had ties to a woman here.

The case has been turned over to federal authorities for prosecution.

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