Bellefontaine Examiner

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Suspect in local robbery caught in Willard

Fette-Michael

FETTE

A man suspected of robbing Community Markets, 309 N. Main St., on May 24 was caught Sunday coming out of a Willard grocery store with $29,000 and a handgun.

Michael J. Fette, 46, of Lancaster, Ohio, is also a suspect in similar robberies in Champaign, Athens, Pickaway and Knox counties.

The Logan County Prosecutor’s Office has prepared warrants charging the suspect with first-degree felony, aggravated robbery and kidnapping.

Community robbery

FILE — This screen grab from surveillance video at Community Markets, 309 N. Main St., shows suspected robber Michael J. Fette while the crime was in progress May 24. Authorities apprehended Mr. Fette Sunday during a grocery store robbery in Willard, about 85 miles north of Columbus. (FILE PHOTO | BELLEFONTAINE POLICE)

According to the Sandusky Register, a resident reported a suspicious vehicle parked next to a trash bin outside Missler’s IGA.

When Willard police officers arrived to check on the vehicle, they observed the suspect walking out carrying a bucket. He ran and ditched the bucket during the brief chase.

Willard officers recovered zip ties from his waistband and a 9mm handgun, cash, extra ammunition and zip ties from a bucket. Still more evidence was recovered from the suspect’s vehicle.

He has been charged with suspicion of aggravated robbery by Huron County officials and was lodged in their jail.

Chief Assistant Logan County Prosecutor Eric Stewart said Willard officers contacted the Bellefontaine Police Department once they noticed a similarity to their case and the robberies here and elsewhere.

It appears authorities have recovered evidence linking the suspect to the May 24 robbery.

The Register reports Willard grocery store clerks told police the suspect entered the store at closing time and asked for help in locating his missing cellular phone.

He pulled a gun and forced clerks into the store’s front office. The cash was taken from a safe.

The store owners walked in on the robbery around 10:17 p.m. Sunday.

In the Bellefontaine robbery, the suspect also claimed to be looking for his cellular phone prior to forcing clerks into a back room and tying them up with zip ties.

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