Man arrested for credit union robbery, kidnapping and hostage situation in Sterling Heights

A robbery suspect hauled off in handcuffs after police say he held up a credit union in Sterling Heights.

FOX 2 is told he tied up three people inside the credit union, grabbed some cash then forced a truck driver to help him get away.

The suspect was arrested a little more than an hour after an armed robbery, kidnapping and hostage situation at the Vibe Credit Union on Van Dyke.

"He walked in, held them at gunpoint and was able to duct tape them," said Chief John Berg, Sterling Heights police. "Then he helped himself to the drawers."

Police say three tellers were unharmed after being threatened by the man wearing a fake beard, holding a very real-looking pellet gun at 9:30 Monday morning.

The man then ordered a customer driving a work truck to drive him to a nearby neighborhood. He bailed out of the truck near Chatsworth and Irving, where the hostage called police.

"The bad guy got out of the vehicle down the street here, he drove back to check on the tellers at the bank as he was calling us," Berg said. "To be honest I was giving up hope that the bad guy hadn't got in a vehicle and gone, so when they called out that they had him running, I couldn't believe it."

Police put nearby schools on lockdown and alerted neighbors as the suspect went door to door, looking for a place to hide.

"We dead bolted and locked all of the doors then we locked all of our windows," said one neighbor.

The suspect found this back door to this garage unlocked. He went inside and that is where police say he set his costume on fire, which he was wearing at the time of the robbery.

Nobody was at the home at the time, the suspect then took off again, bringing along the stolen cash, and four to five pellet guns. Witnesses saw him trying to act casual when he was arrested.

"I saw a random guy walking around with a bunch of bags, and I thought, that looks suspicious," said witness Clay Smith. "And then like, seven cops came and just pushed him to the ground."

Police say the man could be formally charged as soon as Tuesday, and is facing a list of crimes.

"Robbery armed, kidnapping, home invasion, carjacking, I think he's got everything on the Michigan compiled laws," Berg said.