PORTAGE — A Michigan man’s decision to stop and purchase gasoline before robbing a local Chase Bank Thursday morning was his downfall, according to police.
Police said a witness saw a man, who was later identified as 34-year-old Nicholas Lowe, run and jump into a Chrysler 300 vehicle in the area of a Speedway gas station.
Police retrieved a surveillance video at the gas station, saw a vehicle fitting the description being filled with fuel shortly before the robbery and tracked down the payment to Lowe of Battle Creek.
Investigators viewed Lowe’s Facebook page and found photos of the same car. A photo lineup was then used to identify Lowe, who was arrested about midnight at his home.
He was charged Friday with felony robbery.
Lowe is accused of walking into the bank at 6200 Central Ave. at 9:18 a.m. and telling an employee to “do as I say” before presenting her with a note reading, “I have a gun give me all the money no small bills,” according to court records.
Lowe is then accused of unzipping his hooded sweatshirt to show the teller the butt end of a handgun. He was given $1,400 and fled the bank.
A second bank employee told police Lowe was offered a cup of coffee immediately before the robbery.
Lowe is being held in the Calhoun County Jail awaiting extradition to Porter County, according to Portage Police Chief Troy Williams.
Battle Creek police began surveillance of Lowe’s residence and arrested him late in the evening, said Williams, adding Portage detectives were on their way to Battle Creek Friday morning to continue the investigation.
“I want to sincerely thank the public for their assistance, the staff at Speedway, Prosecutor Brian Gensel and staff, Chief Blocker and the Officers of Battle Creek Police Department and last but not certainly not least, the detectives of the Portage Police Department. Your work ethic, tenacity and diligence are unparalleled. This robbery was solved and an arrest made in approximately 15 hours. That is exceptional police work by exceptional people,” said Williams.