March 26 04:47 PM

Woman bound during heist

Almont police believe suspects may have staked out St. Clair St. home

Crime scene tape surrounds W. St. Clair Street home Monday morning as Almont police investigate a robbery where victim was tied up by thieves. photo by Maria Brown.

December 23, 2009
ALMONT — Police believe two men who forced their way into a W. St. Clair St. home Monday morning, tied up the female resident and took $200 in cash and jewelry of undisclosed value, may have been targeting the residence.

Police Sgt. Robert Parsell said the incident occurred shortly after 9:30 a.m. at the home of longtime resident Dr. Robert Lane and his wife.

Parsell said the 79-year-old victim reported that one white male and one black male, both believed to be in their 20s, knocked on the front door before pushing their way inside when she answered.

"They threatened the victim, bound her and then took the money and jewelry," said Parsell. "They were probably only in there about 10 or 15 minutes."

Parsell noted that the victim was not injured and that she did not notice a weapon. He said the suspects are believed to have fled west on W. St. Clair, driving a white or gray older model four-door vehicle.

Investigating Officer Ryan Wilson confirmed that there is evidence to suggest the suspects had been watching the home and Dr. Lane's comings and goings.

"It's definitely a possibility," said Wilson. "It appears they entered the house just after the doctor had left for work. That leads us to believe they had been watching."

Officer Wilson also confirmed that Dr. Lane's unlocked vehicle had been entered in recent weeks and that a garage door opener had been taken.

Wilson said that after forcing their way inside the home, the intruders took the victim to a downstairs bathroom, where they made her lay face down.

There, they tied her hands behind her back with a bathrobe sash and used the cord from a toothpaste charger to tie her feet.

"It all happened very quickly," Wilson noted. "The good thing is that the victim was uninjured. She did all the right things to protect her safety."

Sgt. Parsell said after the men left the home, the victim was able to free her hands and scoot to the telephone to call 911.

He said all local law enforcement agencies have been notified of the crime and are on the lookout for the suspects.

In addition to Almont police, the Imlay City Police Dept., Lapeer County Sheriff's Dept. and the Lapeer Police Dept.'s canine unit were at the scene of the crime.

Anyone with information about the incident is asked to contact the Almont Police Dept. at 810-798-8300.

Tom Wearing started at the Tri-City Times in 1989, covering the Village of Capac as a beat reporter. He later served stints as assistant editor and editor. Today, he covers Imlay City and Almont as a staff writer. He enjoys music and plays drums and sings with various musical groups in the Detroit Metropolitan area.
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