Uber driver turns in Birmingham bank robber
A suspect who robbed the Huntington Bank in Birmingham on Wednesday, July 17, was apprehended after he used an Uber as his getaway car, and the driver became suspicious of his activity and contacted Birmingham police. Birmingham police reported that the robbery occurred at the Huntington Bank branch at 1040 E. Maple Road just before 5 p.m. "The suspect came to the robbery with his own envelope and instructed the teller to put the money on the counter. The suspect then took the money from the counter and placed it into the envelope. Included in the money was a dye pack. When the suspect left the bank, the dye pack exploded and all of the money was ruined when it was coated with the dye. The suspect left the envelope in the bank parking lot," said Birmingham Police Detective Michael Romanowski, the lead investigator on the case. Officers responding to the scene interviewed witnesses who described the getaway car as “looking like an Uber.” Police determined that the suspect had used Uber as his means of transportation to and from the robbery scene. The Uber driver stated he had a strong suspicion the suspect had robbed the bank when he picked him up, but wasn't 100 percent sure. After dropping the suspect off in Detroit, the driver picked up another fare. After completing that fare, the driver then contacted Birmingham police and informed them of his suspicions. With the assistance of the Special Investigations Unit, a consortium of cities consisting of officers from Auburn Hills, Birmingham, Bloomfield Township, Madison Heights, Royal Oak and Troy, as well as U.S. Marshalls, detectives were able to determine the suspect was Westley Robert-Thomas Johnson, 25, of Birmingham. Johnson was located in the city of Detroit and arrested for one count of armed robbery. The warrant was authorized by the Oakland County Prosecutor's Office. Johnson was arraigned on the charge and bond was set at $1 million. “Our participation in the SIU consortium is another tool in our crime fighting capabilities,” said Birmingham Police Chief, Mark Clemence.“With the assistance of the SIU team, our detectives were able to investigate the case while the SIU team worked on locating and arresting the suspect."