A Michigan man was charged with second-degree aggravated robbery Monday by the Washington County Attorney’s Office in connection with an attempted robbery and bomb threat at a Stillwater bank Saturday morning that forced law enforcement agencies to close part of the downtown area for more than six hours.
David Michael Tyler, 55, of Cheboygan, Mich., remains in the Washington County Jail. The robbery charge was filed in 10th Judicial District Court.
The incident began about 9:30 a.m. Saturday when the Stillwater Police Department and Washington County Sheriff’s Office were notified of a bank robbery in progress at the US Bank branch on Chestnut Street in downtown Stillwater. The suspect handed a note to a bank employee and displayed a briefcase containing various components that resembled an explosive device, according to Stillwater Police Chief John Gannaway.
The suspect fled the bank on foot and was arrested by Stillwater Police officers and WCSO deputies while trying to get into his pickup parked on Myrtle Street about two blocks from the bank.
Authorities evacuated a two-block radius around the bank from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. so investigators and the St. Paul Police Department Bomb Squad could examine the device left at the bank and search Tyler’s vehicle and room at the Lowell Inn, Gannaway said. Bomb Squad members removed and rendered safe the device left at the bank, describing it as “a realistic looking improvised explosive device,” Gannaway added.
Businesses, including the Lowell Inn where the suspect was staying, were allowed to reopen Saturday afternoon.
An SPD official estimated that as many as 10 businesses were shut down during the incident. Other agencies responding included the FBI, Bayport and Oak Park Heights Police departments, Stillwater and Bayport Fire departments, Lakeview Ambulance and Minnesota State Patrol.
Gannaway said the incident remains under investigation by the SPD and FBI.