Suspect arrested in 5-store robbery spree
By Pat Maurer
Mt. Pleasant Police are still seeking suspects connected with robberies at five Mt. Pleasant businesses last weekend.
One man, Vincent Miguel Belmarez, was arrested Thursday for a robbery February 17 at the Subway restaurant at 203 Mission Street. He was arraigned Thursday and charged with armed robbery, felonious assault, and firearms charges. His bond was set at $950,000.
That robbery was one of five reported over the weekend.
Michigan State Police Troopers investigated the first armed robbery at the Next Door Food Store at 2025 E. Remus Road (corner of Lincoln and Remus Roads) in Union Township just after midnight on Saturday morning.
The other four robberies – two at check cashing stores, another convenience store and the one at Subway – all took place inside the Mt Pleasant city limits and were being investigated by Mt. Pleasant City Police.
Police were looking for a white male with a dark complexion, possibly Hispanic or Native American, brandishing a black handgun. He is described as about 30 years old, with a medium build, about 5 foot 9 or 10 inches tall.
That is the description of the suspect who reportedly fled on foot after the most recent hold up at an Advance America Cash Advance store on Mission and Broadway Streets around 2 p.m. Monday afternoon. He was reported wearing a dark coat, blue athletic pants with a white stripe and a plaid baseball cap with ear flaps.
According to a State Police press release, Troopers said the suspect who fled from the first robbery escaped in a possibly dark colored newer vehicle with a silver front grill with lettering.
The second robbery took place Saturday afternoon at a Cash Advance at 1717 South Mission just a short distance from the other check cashing business.
The third incident was reported at approximately 4:30 p.m. Sunday at the Next Door Food Store on the corner of High and Adam Streets just a block away from the CMU campus.
The fourth robbery, which took place around 11 p.m. Sunday night at the Subway Restaurant is the only one a suspect has been charged with so far, although police think he may be connected with the other three.
That suspect’s information and photo has not been released yet.
Mt. Pleasant Police are still investigating the other three robberies inside the city limits while State Police are investigating the first robbery.
In each case, there were no customers in the business at the time and the suspect entered wearing dark clothes, holding a gun and demanded money from the cashier.
Schools in the area were placed on partial lockdown with no one allowed to enter buildings Monday.
There were no robberies reported after the last one on Monday and reportedly Mt. Pleasant Police added additional patrols and were offering a $500 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the suspect or suspects. Anyone with information is asked to call their local police.
The police also released a video of the suspect from the robbery at the Cash Advance check cashing at Mission and Broadway streets Monday afternoon.
In an email late Tuesday, State Police Detective Sgt. Gary Green said of the first robbery on Lincoln and Remus Roads that the State Police handled, “There are some similarities in this robbery with the four the city had, but I am not convinced it is the same guy from the other robberies.” He went on, “He has short hair and was clean shaven. The suspect had [a] pock marked complexion. He was wearing a dark winter coat. The suspect brandished a firearm during the robbery. He made his escape in an unknown vehicle. It is unknown if there was an accomplice in the vehicle or not.”
He said, “Anyone with information is asked to contact the Michigan State Police Tip line at: 1-877-616-4677.”
An arraignment for the man arrested Thursday was expected this afternoon (Friday).