July 11, 2014

Michigan man to serve more than six years in prison for Highland bank robbery

A Michigan man was sentenced Friday to six and a half years in federal prison for his part in robbing more than $25,000 from a Highland bank on Valentine's Day.

Ramsey Z. Fakhouri, 22, Troy, Mich., pleaded guilty in March to holding up Bradford National Bank, located at 1100 Mercantile Drive in Highland, on Feb. 14.

Documents filed with the court alleged Fakhouri and another man, Alexander P. Gerth, 18, of Concord, Mich., traveled from Michigan to Highland, where Gerth, armed with an air gun that looked like a real firearm, robbed the bank employee when she was about to put cash into the bank's ATM. The total amount stolen was $25,780, prosecutors said.

Gerth then ran to the Woodcrest Shopping Center, where Fakhouri was waiting in a get-away vehicle, a blue Ford Mustang, according to investigators.

Fakhouri was arrested when he returned to the Highland Police Department, claiming that images he had seen in the media, which looked like Fakhouri, were not of him. However, upon questioning by the police, Fakhouri admitted he was one of the perpetrators, according to court documents.

Chief Judge David R. Herndon, on Friday, also ordered Fakhouri to pay $5,988 in restitution and gave him an additional three years supervision upon his release from prison. Fakhouri, who had been free on bond, was immediately taken into custody.

Gerth, who pleaded guilty in April, is set for sentencing in August.

"The Highland Police Department would like to thank the federal, state and local law enforcement officials who helped bring about the successful conclusion," said Highland Police Det. Darren Twyford. "An additional thanks goes out to the Highland community who aided with providing information that was instrumental in solving this case. The police department hopes the victims are now able to move on with their lives."

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