The armed man who entered the Arby’s in Sterling Heights, Michigan, on the morning of Monday, Nov. 27, probably expected to walk out with a handful of money. While he did get the money, he didn’t get away thanks to some quick-footed employees.
According to the Macomb Daily, the day started as usual for workers at the Arby’s on Van Dyke Avenue north of 17 Mile Road. Around 9 a.m., before the restaurant was open for business, workers inside heard a knock on the back door. Assuming it was a co-worker arriving for the early shift, a worker opened the door.
Instead of an Arby’s employee, who stepped through the door was a pistol-wielding robber who demanded all the money in the cash registers.
After collecting the cash the robber ran south.
Meanwhile, one of the shift managers alerted Arby’s director of operations Marcia Rabideau. Rabideau looked across the parking lot and saw the fleeing robber. She charged out the door, jumped into her Dodge Charger, and gave chase, along with some other employees.
The alleged robber ducked into some nearby woods, and emerged on another street, only to find that it was a dead end—and there facing him was Rabideau with her loaded 9mm Glock.
In a Facebook comment Rabideau explained: “There was no way … I was going to allow this cat to get away with all of our deposits. The suspect tried reaching for his gun but I told him if he lowered his [expletive] hands again that I would shoot him dead and I meant it!!!! He stood in the river bank with his hands above his head until the fuzz arrived!”
Police arrested the armed robber, as well as his accomplice who was driving a getaway car, and took them to the Macomb County Jail, MLive reports. In the car was a one-year-old baby, who was the child of the gun-wielding robber.
“So now they will also face child endangerment charges,” Rabideau told MLive.
Neither the names nor the charges against the two men have been released.
Later that day, Rabideau posted on Facebook: “Starting the day out being robbed was not expected but after chasing the suspect down with the charger & holding him there by gun point until the police arrive was priceless! Thank you boys for going after him with me!!!”
Police generally tell people not to resist armed robbers—and definitely not to chase them. Rabideau certainly knew this—her husband is the police chief for the village of St. Charles and a retired Saginaw police officer, MLive reports.
But when one of her managers told her, “I was just robbed!” she said she didn’t think. “I just reacted,” Rabideau told MLive. “Just being stupid, I guess.”
In this case, it turned out well.
Sterling Heights Police Lt. Mario Bastianelli told the Macomb Daily that the child was unharmed and has been reunited with its mother.
He re-emphasized that people should not chase armed suspects, no matter how well it worked out this time.
“It’s strongly advised for victims not to pursue an armed robber after they were robbed at gunpoint, due to obvious safety concerns,” Bastianelli said.
“And money is just money—that can be replaced. Lives can’t. It’s brave of them to do it, but we don’t encourage it. Being a good witness is the best most people can do. That’s what we want people to do.”
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