Auto One Employee Tips off Police to Bank Robbery
October 1, 2012

by Casey Neeley,

Marlene Relyin-Harder, accounts receivable and insurance pricing employee at Auto One in Brighton, Mich., reported an in-progress bank robbery mid-Friday morning. Relyin-Harder encountered the robbery, which took place at the First National Bank in Brighton Township, while she was making her morning deposits for the Auto One corporate office.

"I go to the bank every day at pretty much the same time," says Relyin-Harder. "[That morning] I went to the bank and as I drove in I saw a car in front of the door and I thought it was odd. As I proceeded to pass the car to go around the bank to go through the drive-through I turned to look back at the car and saw a head come up. [I] thought, 'banks don't get robbed in Brighton.'"

As she continued through the drive-through cautiously, Relyin-Harder says she noticed two suspicious men inside the bank.
"I looked in the window [and] I saw the [bank] tellers with two large men, one with a hooded sweatshirt and a gun," says Relyin-Harder. "I proceeded to go through and dial 911. The dispatcher stated that my call came in before the bank alarm went off and they were sending the police. [Dispatch] asked details about the car and the robbers and I gave them all the information that I could remember."

According to local reports, the three people involved in the bank robbery managed to escape before police arrived on the scene. The two robbers are described as 20- to 30-year-old African-American males, one is around 5'5" and the other is 5'10" with a larger frame. Both were last seen wearing baggy clothes and sideways baseball caps. They are suspected to have been carrying semiautomatic handguns during the robbery. The driver is described as an African-American female.

The getaway car, which was initially stolen from a home in Brighton on Thursday and dumped at the Lexington Manor apartments after the robbery, was described as a 1989 dark red or maroon Buick LeSabre.

"Our business has been banking with [First National] for over 18 years and my concern was for the employees," says Relyin-Harder. "I know them all personally and I am glad everyone was okay."

Local authorities are seeking help in identifying the at-large robbers.

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