[Marxism] Tough times likely fuel bank heists

c b cb31450 at gmail.com
Mon Sep 7 15:34:13 MDT 2009


September 7, 2009


Tough times likely fuel bank heists

Robberies down this year, but suburbs hit with rash of them

BY CHRISTINA HALL
FREE PRESS STAFF WRITER

It's been a bad couple of weeks for banks in metro Detroit, authorities say.

And the recent series of holdups, largely at suburban banks, showed no
signs of slowing last week with yet another robbery Thursday at a
Comerica Bank in Roseville.

Aug. 18 was a particularly bad day: three holdups at three banks --
Huntington Bank in Clinton Township and two Charter One Banks, one in
Roseville, the other in Taylor.

Ray Roland, 34, who is accused of holding up the Huntington Bank, also
faces charges in a spree that included a TCF Bank in Eastpointe on
Aug. 17 and a National City Bank in Shelby Township on Aug. 19.

The most shocking robbery came Aug. 10, in which authorities say Ihab
Maslamani held a gun that may have been used in a murder to a
customer's head during a holdup at the Flagstar Bank in Harrison
Township.

"It could be family situations, but I think in this area, a lot could
be the economy," FBI Special Agent Sandra Berchtold said of what might
motivate robbers.

Authorities say the good news is that the number of bank, credit union
and savings and loan association robberies logged by the FBI during
the first six months of this year is down compared with the same
period last year. Nationally, there have been 2,776 robberies reported
through the end of June compared with 3,010 for the same period last
year. In Michigan, there have been 79 robberies in the first half of
this year compared with 130 during the first six months of 2008.

The number of bank robberies logged by the FBI in Wayne, Oakland and
Macomb counties also has been trending down. Authorities say the drop
could be in part because of the arrest of serial robbing suspects like
Alvin Murray, 52, who was known as the Heavy D Bandit and suspected of
robbing or trying to rob almost a dozen metro Detroit banks in a
two-month span last year.

"I think some of those sprees definitely did some damage," Berchtold said.

Yet authorities say they most fear a heist like the one in which
Maslamani is accused of holding a gun to a customer's head during a
bank robbery that occurred a day after police said he carjacked and
killed Matt Landry of Chesterfield Township.

A hostage situation during a bank holdup "would be the ultimate terror
that we would very much like to avoid if at all possible," said Jason
Korstange, director of corporate communications for TCF Bank. "It's
just a bad deal all over."




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