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Posted on Wed, Oct 26, 2011 : 5:58 a.m.

Chelsea police on recent robberies: 'These things don't happen in Chelsea'

By Lisa Allmendinger

Chelsea Police Chief Ed Toth Monday night appealed to city residents to call the police department if they have any information that might help officers solve a recent armed robbery at Perky Pantry, a downtown convenience store and gas station.

“These things don’t happen in Chelsea,” Toth said, adding that this is the first time in five years that there has been a gun involved.

He said the suspect, described as an African American man in his early 30s, about 5-foot, 7-inches tall to about 5-foot, 10-inches tall has a medium to muscular build.

Toth said the suspect wore gloves and had a hooded sweatshirt that was tied tight to his face.

He waited in the store until other customers left, Toth said, then demanded cash from a store clerk. When a customer came into the store, the suspect pushed the clerk to the floor, robbed the customer, and fled.

The incident took place at about 3 p.m. on Oct. 7.

Toth also asked residents to immediately contact the police department if they see anything out of the ordinary. “We’d rather be there on the front end,” he said.

“If it doesn’t look right; if it looks odd, call us right away,” he said. “If someone doesn’t appear right, they are wearing gloves when it’s warm or someone’s out walking a dog at 3 or 4 a.m. or riding a bike on the streets at 1 a.m., the department would rather check it out right away.”

In addition, last week, there were several robberies from locked vehicles in the city, Toth said. Two purses were stolen from vehicles and the suspects smashed car windows to get to them.

The police chief cautioned women not to leave their purses in their vehicles.

“Please take them with you into the store; don’t even lock them in the trunk because someone might be watching."

He said both the purse robberies from vehicles took place during the middle of the day.

A $1,000 reward has been offered by Crimestoppers for anyone with information that leads to an arrest in the armed robbery, Toth said, and anyone with information should call department at 734-475-9122 or if they wish to remain anonymous contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-Speak Up. Lisa Allmendinger is a regional reporter for She can be reached at For more Chelsea stories, visit our Chelsea page.



Fri, Nov 4, 2011 : 4:10 a.m.

How many thousands of prisoners has Michigan released in the last few years?

Bertha Venation

Wed, Oct 26, 2011 : 5:50 p.m.

Don't you mean "Mayberry?" Sad to say, but yes.... sad to say... life goes on -- even in good ol' Chelsea.

Joe Kidd

Wed, Oct 26, 2011 : 5:32 p.m.

Not a smart thing for a police chief to say, particularly in a city so close to a major highway. Second, we should have accurate reporting here. After reading headline, containing the word "robberies" I read this to find out about the robberies. It appears however that there is one robbery and a few larcenies from autos. Those are not robberies unless a person was in the vehicle. I doubt Chief Toth described those thefts as robberies. If the owners of the purses were present, that should have been reported since it indicates a higher level of offensive behavior from the offenders. Perhaps the law has changed and larcenies from autos are now called robberies. If so, please excuse my criticism of the reporting.


Wed, Oct 26, 2011 : 4:55 p.m.

Just hummmm for now!


Wed, Oct 26, 2011 : 3:19 p.m.

Slow news day so far! Not much to complain about. "These things don't happen in Chelsea," Toth said So it was not the best way to describe what happened. Would have been better to say its very rare. But lets move on no story here!

Donna Regan

Wed, Oct 26, 2011 : 4:34 p.m.

Thanks jcj, my sentiments exactly. The officer in question was not saying that these things SHOULDN'T happen in Chelsea, which may have more rightly elicited comments about denial; he said "These things don't happen in Chelsea" and for the most part, he is correct.

Buster W.

Wed, Oct 26, 2011 : 3:50 p.m.

True. Never say never.


Wed, Oct 26, 2011 : 3:41 p.m.

I was referring to the comment "These things don't happen in Chelsea," that comment has generated more post than the crimes.

Buster W.

Wed, Oct 26, 2011 : 3:35 p.m.

I differ. I think it would be newsworthy to you if it was in your neighborhood.

Buster W.

Wed, Oct 26, 2011 : 2:47 p.m.

This stuff does happen in sleepy little towns like just happened to your next door neighbor, in Dexter, last summer. Did they ever catch these guys? Might it be related? <a href=""></a>

Buster W.

Wed, Oct 26, 2011 : 2:50 p.m.

BTW, the place in Dexter is actually called &quot;Mugg &amp; Bopp's&quot; --- not &quot;Mugg &amp; Bobb's&quot;. Almost like they're asking for it.


Wed, Oct 26, 2011 : 2:47 p.m.

Oct 7? wait almost 3 weeks to appeal to people, why not wait until nov 7th or dec 7th. geez

Joe Kidd

Wed, Oct 26, 2011 : 5:34 p.m.

I was wondering about that too. What's going on here? Had this been in the media after it happened, that might have made someone recall seeing the suspect. By now, who would remember? Getting news fast used to be a prime issue in journalism.

Matt P

Wed, Oct 26, 2011 : 2:34 p.m.

It's an idiom, people. Whenever anyone ever says &quot;These things don't happen&quot;, it's a result of something happening that isn't an everyday occurrence. There hasn't been an armed robbery in Chelsea in 5 years. It's safe to use the idiom in this case, because of the rarity of this event. Can people be struck by lightning in Chelsea as well? Yes they can. Is that any reason to hide in your basement on a cloudless day? Probably not.


Wed, Oct 26, 2011 : 2:18 p.m.

Chelsea should just be thankful they don't have the meth problem Livingston County has.


Wed, Oct 26, 2011 : 2:11 p.m.

If 'these things don't happen in Chelsea', then why do they need a police force in the first place? Newsflash -- these things happen everywhere! Sadly, there is no place that is crime free.


Wed, Oct 26, 2011 : 2 p.m.

Perhaps the Chelsea police chief and City Council should keep up with the national news. Here is a recent article in the NY Times about the suburbanization of poverty. The growth increased more in the suburbs than in central cities, although it is still higher in central cities. <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a> Chelsea, Dexter, Saline, etc. will notice this in the schools if they haven't already. They also might notice folks using their libraries as warming/sleeping stations. Welcome to the USA.


Wed, Oct 26, 2011 : 1:02 p.m.

&quot;These things don't happen in Chelsea&quot; This should be reason enough to reconsider their police chief. The day crime stops happening in places where they aren't suppose to happen, is the day that the earth will end.


Wed, Oct 26, 2011 : 1:01 p.m.

That's a wonderful attitude to take. If I stick my head in the sand, I'll never know. Newsflash Chelsea Police, it happens everywhere, whether you see it or not, and whether you think it happens or not. The ideal utopia community outlook is all but dead in this country. I know people that used to not lock their doors in rural Livingston county and that's been way past due. It happens everywhere so prepare yourself.


Wed, Oct 26, 2011 : 1 p.m.

&quot;"These things don't happen in Chelsea," Toth said&quot; Obviously, they do.


Wed, Oct 26, 2011 : 12:48 p.m.

That's exactly why it happened-- They are easy targets and totally unprepared.


Wed, Oct 26, 2011 : 12:45 p.m.

"If it doesn't look right; if it looks odd, call us right away," he said. "If someone doesn't appear right, they are wearing gloves when it's warm or someone's out walking a dog at 3 or 4 a.m. or riding a bike on the streets at 1 a.m., the department would rather check it out right away." -this sounds like paranoia to me. There are always, and have always been, people out walking their dogs at 3am. Not everyone works from 9-5.


Wed, Oct 26, 2011 : 12:44 p.m.

Is Chelsea in the state of Denial? &quot;These things&quot; can and do happen in Chelsea and everywhere else (with a human population). It's a shame that armed robbery happens at all but perhaps the good citizens of Chelsea can shake off their disbelief and understand that they're not living in a crime-free bubble.

zip the cat

Wed, Oct 26, 2011 : 11:42 a.m.

I called the chelsea police dept one morning about a issue I had and the woman answering the phone put me on hold 4 different times durning my request for assistance. I got so furious with her that I hung up. So calling early in the day is a no brainer