AAPD responds to armed robbers wearing clown masks Tuesday night

Wednesday, October 5, 2016 - 5:58pm

An armed gunman wearing a clown mask robbed the BP gas station located at 3270 Washtenaw Avenue around 10:30 p.m. Tuesday night.

Later that night, the Ann Arbor Police Department responded to another report of an armed robbery by a man in a clown mask, this time at Domino's Pizza located at 2601 Plymouth Road. The descriptions of the suspects, according to AAPD detective Matthew Lige, were identical.

“Currently, our working theory is that the two armed robberies that happened last night in the city were carried out by the same person,” Lige said. “Who that person is, we still do not know. That is still part of our investigation.”

The suspect, according to Lige, displayed the handgun at the BP gas station and Domino’s, and fled both scenes with undisclosed amounts of money.

Though the suspect’s identity was concealed by the clown mask, Lige remains confident that the Ann Arbor police will be able to track down the suspect.

In recent weeks, clown sightings, and in some cases, attacks, have been reported across the United States. So far, there have been reports of clowns in 20 states and 20 Michigan towns, according to the Ann Arbor News.

“In the two decades that I’ve done this job, people wearing disguises to commit crimes has always been a practice.  The latest has been people wearing clown masks in order to commit violent crimes.  So yes, while it does present a level of complexity, it is also something that we have dealt with before.”

Some instances of clown sightings are in connection to crimes, like Tuesday’s armed robbery, but others are suspected to be attempts to cause widespread fear.