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Armed Robbery on Monday Prompts Lockdowns at Plymouth-Canton Elementary Schools

Police arrest three suspected in armed robbery at Verizon store in Canton.

Three people are in police custody after an armed robbery of a Verizon store in Canton on Monday and a search for the suspects that led to lockdowns at four local elementary schools.

Four Plymouth-Canton elementary schools—Hoben, Bentley, Field and Eriksson—went into lockdown Monday shortly after Canton Police responded to a call at about 11 a.m. reporting an armed robbery in progress at the Verizon store at Ford Road west of Morton Taylor Road, police officials indicated in a news release.

According to the news release, police were notified three suspects armed with at least one semiautomatic assault rifle had fled south on Oakview in a silver vehicle. 

A patrol car in the area intercepted the vehicle at Oakview and Saltz roads, near Flodin Park, and disabled the vehicle, police indicated in a news release. The suspects then fled on foot and were quickly found hiding in a storm cellar adjacent to a house on Willard and were taken into custody, according to the news release.

The district lifted the lockdown shortly after noon on Monday after the arrests, according to P-CEP Interim Director of Community Relations Mary Holaly.

"Our first priority is student safety," Holaly said.

Once the schools were secured and internal staff were notified, the district notified all parents in the district by sending out an automated phone call. 

"We're really grateful for our relationship with Canton Public Safety," Holaly said. "They do a great job and they always keep our children's safety in mind."

Patch readers on Monday echoed Holaly's sentiments.

"C.E.," a Patch reader, commended officers on quickly making the arrest.

"Glad I live in a community where emergency services respond quickly and work hard to keep the bad guys off the streets," the user wrote.

Patch reader Jacob wrote in a story comment that he worked at a Sprint store down the road and was "shocked" by what had transpired Monday morning. 

"I'm glad everyone was safe and no one got hurt," he wrote. "It could have very easily been us."

Patch editor Rebecca Jaskot contributed to this report.

Brandon Froney February 26, 2013 at 01:14 PM
The only problem with this story is that it does not tell how the city does not notify all schools and day cares. They city only notifies public schools, so if you are like me who have a kid that goes to a daycare a block from where the guys were found or a kid that goes to a charter school they were not notified. I see a huge problem with this because my kid was playing outside when these men were on the run with a automatic rifle. The city needs to change how they notify people. I think every business that has kids in it should be notified not just the public schools. If you agree with me then please reach out to the news and the city about this situation.
Carol Bimberg February 26, 2013 at 01:59 PM
Good point, Brandon. Perhaps a key person at each establishment could contact the city and be asked to be put on the automated phone call list?
Mike February 26, 2013 at 02:15 PM
A semi-automatic rifle is not an assault rifle. No self-respecting soldier would dare assault an enemy position with a civilian intended semi-automatic rifle. I am glad that these losers are off the streets, thanks to the Canton Police.

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