Thursday, November 21, 2019

Robbery suspects captured within hours of thefts

An observant witness led to the arrest of two suspects in two armed robberies in Van Buren Township last week.
According to police reports, a man and woman were arrested within two hours of armed robberies at Hungry Howie's and Walmart after a witness to the Walmart robbery of a cashier followed the perpetrator out of the store into the parking lot and provided the license plate number of the vehicle in which he left the scene to police.

The Walmart robbery occurred at about 4.24 a.m. Nov. 2 police said following an armed robbery at 1:13 a.m. of the pizzeria. In that incident, the suspect showed a gun, according to police reports and was wearing a hoodie and a Halloween mask. The description matched that of the suspect in the Walmart robbery.
When police officers arrived at Walmart in response to the robbery report, the witness provided the license plate number and the car was shortly located at the Red Roof Inn in the township.
Officers observed a female leave the room identified as registered to the owner of the suspect vehicle and immediately arrested her. Officers then entered the room and arrested the male occupant as a suspect in the two armed robberies. Police obtained a warrant and searched the motel room where they retrieved cash suspected to be from the robberies and a handgun suspected to have been used in the incidents. The gun had previously been reported stolen, according to police reports.
Michael Lynn Laster, 24, of Van Buren Township, has been charged with one count of armed robbery and one count of felony firearm in the Hungry Howie's incident and one count of armed robbery and felony firearm in the Walmart robbery. Also facing charges is Tamara Tashia Elam, 25, of Ypsilanti who is facing one count of armed robbery in the Hungry Howie's robbery and one count of armed robbery in the Walmart robbery.
The pair could face up to life in prison if convicted of the charges.
Both suspects were arraigned by video by 34th District Court Nov. 5. Judge Brian A. Oakley released each of them on $25,000 personal bonds and GPS tethers. Laster was ordered to live outside Van Buren Township. Preliminary court hearings on the charges were scheduled for the pair yesterday.