By Jim Newell
Authorities have caught a serial bank robber who is accused of targeting banks in Oakland and Macomb counties last month.
Michael Hue Thompson, 47, of Washington Township is accused of robbing a Bank of America in Orion Township, a Huntington Bank in Shelby Township and attempting to rob a Chase Bank in Chesterfield Township.
Thompson was taken into custody without incident on April 2 after a coordinated effort between investigators from Shelby Township, the Macomb County Sheriff’s Office, the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office and the FBI sorted through tips and evidence connecting Thompson to the robberies, where a note was passed to bank tellers demanding money, the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office said in a police incident report.
“The exceptional surveillance video photos obtained from the Orion Township Bank of America was instrumental in identifying Thompson and investigators all working together to connect further evidence quickly resulted in the federal criminal complaint,” said the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office in news release.
Thompson is accused of robbing the Bank of America at 1391 Lapeer Road at 4:20 p.m. on March 21. Bank of America officials reported he made off with about $5,000 from a teller’s tray.
The teller reported that a white male around 6-feet tall, with a goatee and mustache wearing a burgundy Carhartt knit hat, had entered the bank and handed her a note demanding money. She gave the suspect money from the teller’s tray.
No weapon was seen or implied during the robbery, and the suspect exited the bank. He was last seen heading north on foot and may have left in a black Ford pick-up.
Oakland County Sheriff’s deputies arrived at the bank, secured the scene and searched the area for the suspect and vehicle but did not find anything. The OCSO Forensic Science Lab unit processed the scene for potential evidence.
Detectives investigating the case determined that the suspect matched the description of a person wanted in connection with similar robberies in Shelby and Chesterfield townships in Macomb County, and coordinated their efforts with those departments.
Authorities also discovered that Thompson had a previous bank robbery conviction out of the State of Indiana, according to police reports from the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office.
Police said Thompson walked into the Chase Bank at 27100 23 Mile Road in Chesterfield Township around 3:30 p.m. March 7. Reports indicate that the tellers at Chase Bank stalled when Thompson told them to empty their teller trays, so he became frustrated and left empty-handed.
On March 8, officials said Thompson went to the Huntington Bank at 15075 24 Mile Road in Shelby Township at 10:17 a.m. and told a teller he wanted to make a withdrawal, sliding the teller a white piece of paper, which reportedly read, “Give me all your 50s and 100s. No dye packs.”
The teller took money from her top drawer, activated her alarm and placed the money on the counter, according to authorities.
Thompson reportedly grabbed the money, put it in a blue bag, took his request note and walked out of the bank, officials said.
By Jim Newell