March 26 04:38 PM

Police track leads in Almont robbery

Oakland Sheriff's Dept. claims no link with robbery of Orion woman

December 30, 2009
ALMONT — Police are following up on leads but have yet to make an arrest in the daylight robbery of a 79-year-old woman in her W. St. Clair St. residence last Monday morning.

Shortly after 9:30 a.m. on Dec. 21, two men, believed to be in their 20s, knocked on the front door of longtime physician Dr. Robert Lane. When the female resident answered, they forced their way into the home.

The intruders, one white male and one black male, reportedly took the woman to a downstairs bathroom where they bound her hands and feet with a sash from a robe and an electrical cord from a toothbrush charger.

The men then proceeded to take an estimated $200 in cash and jewelry of an undisclosed value, before fleeing westbound in a white or gray older model four-door vehicle.

Police said the victim was eventually able to free one of her hands and scoot to a telephone to call 911.

Investigating Officer Ryan Wilson said evidence acquired thus far suggests the suspects may have been watching the doctor's home and timing his departure for work.

It's been noted that the doctor typically leaves for his Almont medical office at around 9 a.m. On the day of the robbery, he left around 9:30 a.m., just minutes before the suspects entered the home.

"It leads us to believe they were casing the house and watching," said Wilson.

Wilson also acknowledged that a garage door opener had been taken from Dr. Lane's unlocked vehicle at an earlier date.

Police surmise that whomever took the garage door opener, could have discovered the doctor's home address and other information in the vehicle.

No link to Orion case

Police are ruling out any connection between the Almont case and an armed robbery that occurred Tuesday in Orion Township.

In that incident, an 18-year-old Lake Orion High School student was arrested after robbing a 67-year-old woman at knifepoint.

"We don't think there is any link with the Almont incident," said Oakland County Sheriff's Lt. Bruce Naile, Orion substation commander. "We've made an arrest in our case, and we don't think there is any association with that incident (in Almont)."

Almont police initially said the victim could not confirm that she saw a weapon, though one of the men threatened to stab her.

Police Sgt. Robert Parsell on Monday said it is now believed that one of the men had a knife. He also noted that the black suspect "did all of the talking."

Parsell said local police agencies continue to sort out physical evidence found at the scene, along with tips.

Further information or tips may be provided by calling 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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