UPDATE: Police Connect Standoff with Bank Robbery

By: Shannon Kantner Email
By: Shannon Kantner Email

Blackman-Leoni Township Public Safety confirm the incident that blocked off Francis Street Monday night is connected to Monday's bank robbery at Aeroquip Credit Union in Blackman Township.

Police were conducting a high-risk search warrant at a house on Francis Court as part of their ongoing investigation. It involved four different police agencies, known as the Major Crimes Task Force, plus the FBI.

"I ran, I was running toward the basement, and I saw policemen all in my backyard, policemen coming through my mother's yard, policemen in the front, in the driveway," Rhonda Jones said, who lives two houses down from 101 Francis Ct.

She's lived their her whole life and knows the home's occupants, Shirley and Otis Brown, very well. When police surrounded their home, the Browns were unaware, and Jones broke the news to them.

"They were able to call me and was like, 'What's going on now?' and I had to let them know, they're busting in your back door right now," Jones said.

Shirley Brown was visibly upset Tuesday. She didn't want to appear on camera, but Brown said both she and her husband are sick and elderly. The incident caused a lot of damage to their home, and they're just trying to cope with everything.

Police say the Browns and no one else was home at the time, and there were no injuries. Police aren't saying what or who the search warrant was for, but they have determined a person of interest.

"We're not releasing any specifics because we don't want to compromise anything that we're working on," Blackman Township Public Safety Director Michael Jester said.

Police also won't specify whether the robbery or the search is related to several other recent bank robberies in the area. Jester said the Major Crimes Task Force usually handles high profile cases.

"That's a model that we've found has been advantageous to coming to a good conclusion," Jester said.

The Task Force is working closely with the Jackson County Prosecutor in this investigation. Police said more search warrants are possible, it just depends on where the investigation takes them.

Jester said the case might be wrapped up within a week.

No arrests have been made yet.

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