By Pat Maurer
A Harrison man and a Cadillac woman are behind bars and facing multiple charges after they allegedly robbed two banks in Harrison last Friday.
Clinton Cole, 57, and Ruth Loomis, 56, of Cadillac were apprehended Friday afternoon after they allegedly fled from the second bank robbed that day.
According to a release from Undersheriff Dwayne Miedzianowski, Central Dispatch received a call about an armed robbery at the Chemical Bank on Second Street in Harrison around 1:45 p.m.
The release said a man “walked into the bank, displayed and black and gray handgun and threatened to go to a local school and shoot children if he wasn’t given money.”
He fled south in a red Chevrolet sport utility vehicle with about $4,300 in cash, Miedzianowski said.
A second armed robbery at the Chemical Bank north of Harrison in Hayes Township was reported just minutes after 4:00 p.m. with about $7,500 taken. Reportedly the suspect made the same threat about shooting school children during the robbery.
The description of the suspect and the vehicle was the same as in the earlier robbery. Deputies responding to the call spotted the suspect vehicle and when they attempted to stop it the vehicle fled north on Clare Avenue from Hampton Road.
Officers were able to stop the vehicle and arrested Cole and Loomis and in the process recovered over $7,500 in cash from the SUV.
Miedzianowski said a video and eyewitness account placed Cole at the robbery. According to information from the Cadillac City Police, the two are also suspected of a robbery that same morning in Cadillac at the Wexford Community Credit Union around 11 a.m.
A release from Detective Lt. Todd Golnick of the Cadillac Police Department said the robbery happened there Friday around 11:03 p.m. when a man entered the Wexford Community Center Credit Union on Mitchell Street. He demanded money “brandishing a firearm” at the teller. Police said he threatened to “shoot the babies” at the school across the street if the teller did not comply with his orders. The Lincoln Elementary School was immediately put under a lock-down, Golnick said.
He said the man, believed to be Cole, escaped with over $20,000 in cash.
Cadillac Police learned of the two Harrison robberies a short time later.
In a joint investigation with the Clare County Sheriff’s Department, Michigan State Police and FBI from the Saginaw office, investigators went to a home in Lake George where they recovered over $1,200. The money was confirmed to have come from the Cadillac robbery. A search warrant at a Cadillac residence about four blocks from the Wexford Community Credit Union led to the discovery of over $18,000.
Golnick said charges for the Cadillac robber are expected in the future.
Both Loomis and Cole were arraigned in 80th District Court for the Harrison bank robberies by Magistrate Karen Willing Monday.
Cole was charged with Conspiracy to Commit Armed Robbery; Weapons-Felony Firearm and Weapons-Firearm Possession by Felon; and with Habitual Offender 4th Offence Notice. Armed Robbery is a felony punishable by up to life in prison. Felony Firearms charges can add additional years.
His bond was set at $1,000,000 cash/surety.
Loomis was charged with Conspiracy to Commit Armed Robbery (Aid and Abetting), Armed Robbery, both punishable by up to life in prison. Her bond was set at $500,000 Cash/Surety.
Both Cole and Loomis remain lodged at the Clare County Jail. Preliminary Exams have been set for October 21.
The Undersheriff also confirmed that Cole and Loomis have multiple prior convictions, Loomis for retail fraud in Mason County in 1996 and attempted retail fraud in Wexford County in 2010.
Cole has five prior convictions including a 2002 4th Degree Fleeing and Eluding, for which he served three years according to MDOC records; Unlawfully driving away of an auto in 1977, for which he served four years; Receiving and concealing stolen property in Mason County, a 3 to 10 year sentence. He was discharged last May. He was convicted of second-degree home invasion in Mason County in 2005 and sentenced to 3 to 30 years; and with OUIL in Clare County in 2009 for which he was sentenced to two to five years.
Although he is recorded as a Harrison resident, Miedzianowski said Cole resided at several locations, possibly with Loomis in Cadillac.
Clare County Prosecutor Michelle Ambrozaitis said the US Attorney’s Office is considering taking over the case. If Clare County handles it, she said more charges are planned.