Armed robberies force school district into lockdown - WSMV Channel 4

Armed robberies force school district into lockdown

Posted: Updated:
A photo of the suspect in Monday's Cash Store robbery. A photo of the suspect in Monday's Cash Store robbery.
MOUNT PLEASANT, MI (WNEM) -

The Mount Pleasant School District is taking extra safety precautions in light of several armed robberies in the area.

Now a fifth robbery occurred in the area of Mission and Broadway streets, at a cash advanced store. The armed robbery was paged out around 2 p.m. Monday afternoon following several armed robberies in the area.

All Mount Pleasant schools have gone into lockdown mode. The Morning Sun reports a tracking dog is being used by police to search for the armed robber. Central Michigan Life reports an unknown amount of money was taken before the robber left the area, toward Broadway Street.

TV5 has learned police did intercept a black car not far from the latest robbery and that one person was briefly detained, but police say that person was not the robber.

The robber was last seen wearing a dark colored coat, blue with white stripe athletic pants and a blue/black plaid baseball cap with ear flaps. Police said he did display a black handgun while committing the crime.

"Any time that many robberies occur that close to each other, it raises concern," said Michael Pung, the Mount Pleasant Schools Superintendent.

"A lockdown is put in place when criminal activity is thought to occur on school property. It has not," Pung explained. "We are just being cautious and watching the doors at the schools more closely until the armed robbery suspects are caught."

There was no lunch recess at elementary schools in the district in order to minimize the flow on traffic in and out of the school doors.

Pung said one door is being utilized as an entry point at each school so that it would be easier for faculty to monitor who is coming in and out of the building. 

Before the robbery at the cash store, the most recent incident happened at a Subway restaurant on Mission Avenue near Mosher Street around 11 p.m. Sunday. The suspect is being described as a Hispanic, white or possibly native American male, between 5'7" and 5'9" with a thin build.

Police also responded to a robbery at the Next Door Food Store at 1324 West High St. The suspect entered the store with a handgun and left with an undisclosed amount of cash.

Another robbery happened at the Advance America Cash Advance at 1717 South Mission Ave. Another incident took place at another Next Door Food Store location at 2015 East Remus Rd. in Union Township.

Mount Pleasant police spokesperson Jeff Thompson said that the similarity of the robberies has led the department to believe the incidents may be related.

Until the suspect, or suspects, is caught the Mount Pleasant School District will be extra cautious to ensure safety, Pung said.

Anyone with information regarding the incidents is urged to contact Central Dispatch at 989-773-1000 or the Mt. Pleasant Tip Line at 989-779-9111.

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