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Clawson

May 29, 2014

Suspect in bank robbery apprehended, charged

By Robert Guttersohn
C & G Staff Writer

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Investigators believe that this man, who robbed the KeyBank on 14 Mile Road May 28, is Matthew Alan Pickett. Pickett was arraigned for bank robbery in U.S. District Court in Detroit May 30.

With the help of the FBI and the Oakland County Gang and Violent Crimes Task Force, a suspect in the May 28 KeyBank robbery has been apprehended.

Matthew Alan Pickett, 39, was charged May 30 with one count of bank robbery and was arraigned in U.S. District Court in Detroit.

“The case is a perfect example of how various agencies in this area work together for the common good of catching criminals,” said Clawson Police Chief Harry Anderson.

According to the federal complaint, Pickett allegedly walked to a teller in KeyBank, 330 W. 14 Mile Road, with a note saying, “Do not talk I have a gun put the money on the counter. No bait bills. I don’t want to hurt anyone but I will. I am dying anyways. Hurry up!!!”

The gun “was implied — never seen,” Anderson said in a phone interview the day after the incident. Pickett told an FBI agent that he did not actually have a gun during the robbery, according to the federal complaint.

After receiving an undisclosed amount of money and exiting the bank, witnesses told police the suspect fled on foot north on Custer Avenue.

The incident caused the city’s schools to be placed on lockdown for more than an hour.

Clawson Public Schools Superintendent Monique Beels said the school district was alerted to the event at the bank via an automated messaging system.

“We are part of a system that, when there is an incident, we get a call,” Beels said.

Initially, the district closed just the high school and middle school until the district leaders found out that the incident occurred at 14 Mile and Custer, which is near Kenwood Elementary.

The district shut down all of its schools once the location of the incident had been determined.

Clawson police, with the assistance of Troy and Royal Oak police, set up a perimeter. Troy police sent a K-9 unit to the bank to conduct a track.

While searching the perimeter, police received word that the suspect might be hiding in one of the neighborhood homes, Anderson said.

“We had word that he may be at a couple of residences, but we were not able to find the suspect,” Anderson said.

The federal complaint says that a Clawson resident told police that Pickett had asked her for a ride, but when a Clawson police car drove nearby, he ran away.

The resident told police that Pickett had left behind a sweatshirt. According to the federal complaint, it matched one that the suspect was wearing in the bank’s security footage.

Photographs of Pickett inside the bank were shown to family living in Clawson, who allegedly confirmed that the man in the security camera footage was Pickett.

The next day, Warren police arrested Pickett, who was walking along Eight Mile Road, according to the complaint.

While in custody, federal authorities said Pickett admitted to doing the Clawson bank robbery and admitted to a December robbery of a credit union in St. Louis.

Pickett is due in federal court again at 1 p.m. June 3 for his detention hearing. He apparently did not have an attorney as of May 30.