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Posted on Thu, Nov 8, 2012 : 2:42 p.m.

Men take $10 from couple on North University Avenue

By Kyle Feldscher

A group of intoxicated men demanded cash and took $10 from a man and woman outside of the Panera Bread on North University Avenue in Ann Arbor on Wednesday.

University of Michigan police are investigating the incident, which was reported at 4:37 p.m. Wednesday in the 900 block of North University Avenue.

According to police, five or six intoxicated men about 50 years old approached the couple on the sidewalk.

The men demanded cash from the couple and one of them grabbed a $10 bill from the man. The couple then walked away from the area and called police.

Police are searching for the suspects. One man was described as black, between 40 and 50 years old, with a dark, ruddy complexion, wearing a nylon doo-rag, puffy black winter coat and dark jeans. Another man was described as black, between 40 and 50 years old, 5-foot-11, 190 pounds, dark complexion and wearing dark clothing.

The men remain at large. Anyone with information on the incident is encouraged to call the University of Michigan Department of Public Safety at 734-763-1131.

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Kyle Feldscher covers cops and courts for He can be reached at or you can follow him on Twitter.



Mon, Nov 12, 2012 : 4:25 a.m.

There are a number of things I miss about Ann Arbor, but the aggressive panhandlers is not one of them. I have not lived in A2 for a couple of years. Seems the panhandlers are more aggressive than ever. Until you Ann Arborites and your elected officials find some backbones, these thugs are going to continue to take your $10 bills with impunity. The thugs and panhandlers know they have it good in A2. Best of luck!


Sat, Nov 10, 2012 : 4:07 a.m.

Redistribution of wealth comes to Ann Arbor.


Mon, Nov 12, 2012 : 1:50 p.m.

I guess you just moved here? You must be senile already if you think panhandlers just came to a2 in the last 4 years.


Mon, Nov 12, 2012 : 4:28 a.m.



Fri, Nov 9, 2012 : 6:17 p.m.

Bums aggressively panhandling and then robbing innocent, hardworking citizens in Ann Arbor? This has been an issue for decades, yet for some incredulous, insane reason, the citizens not only put up with it, they tolerate and often encourage it. Make Ann Arbor an unfriendly climate for panhandlers and they will hit the road soon enough.


Fri, Nov 9, 2012 : 4 p.m.

This has to be the same crew of people that took the guys food out of his hands from Jerusalem garden!


Fri, Nov 9, 2012 : 3:09 p.m.

I would have told them; I don't have a ten but I've got a "Nine" -- want some? ;-) It's not the money, it's the principle and not having this little "gang" of bullies walking the streets, thinking that disparity of force in their favor is license to scare and rob people. As for "discovering the person trying to rob you has a weapon"–– If the threat has a weapon, they'll be showing it right away and the best tactic to deal with that is to avoid putting yourself in such proximity in the first place. Letting the threat "discover" that you have a weapon (first) is an effective way to get the threat to decide robbing you (and endangering your companion) isn't such a good idea. If anything, to accede to the demands of bullies is to surrender your responsibility to defend yourself and your loved ones (and society) and to encourage the bullies to continue their "successful strategy." We hear about our "rights" all the time - but some people will criticize those who take the trouble to defend those rights at every opportunity. Maybe that's because anyone who advocates for defending their rights is viewed by the "Lets Just Give Up At The First Sign Of Trouble" bunch as highlighting them as lacking in knowledge, training and, uh, backbone. :-) Maybe $10 isn't worth the risk--- but who says that $10 will always be the only thing being demanded?? Isn't it more logical to say that, having gotten $10 so easily, the next time more may be demanded? Who are we depending on to be so "generous" as to demand only $10? The real equation starts with the question: Now that I've given them $10, will they let me (us) go without further demands? That strikes me as kinda... you know... STUPID.


Fri, Nov 9, 2012 : 12:42 p.m.

From the daily OZonian 11-9-12 " Representatives of the panhandlers union strongly protested the police investigation into their recient fund raiser on the U of M campus "


Fri, Nov 9, 2012 : 12:03 p.m.

Hatred for the down and out and less fortunate is certainly rearing it's ugly head again in these smug comments by the well fed citizenry. It's no wonder you hear of so many crimes against homeless folks. There but for the grace of God go you.


Fri, Nov 9, 2012 : 6:21 p.m.

@justcurious: Please justify how being down and out (read: drunken, beliigerent, violent) becomes an excuse rob someone else. And by they way: I applaud everyone that speaks out against violence and I think your comment defies logic.


Fri, Nov 9, 2012 : 6:02 p.m.

How do you know they're homeless? Do you realize that almost all of these people have homes, if not all?


Fri, Nov 9, 2012 : 4:08 p.m.

I understand your concern that people not act out against innocent people who are struggling, but these people, if the article is accurate are criminals who robbed innocent people. Intimidating someone into giving you money is a crime and should be roundly condemned and prosecuted. The city needs to have enough police presence to catch these criminals in the act and mete out proper justice.

Unusual Suspect

Fri, Nov 9, 2012 : 2:46 a.m.

This isn't crime anymore. Redistribution of wealth was just approved by the people of the USA on Tuesday.

Unusual Suspect

Sat, Nov 10, 2012 : 6:26 p.m.

Jack, it's not a scandal when a lefty does it, it's increasing their credibility with the rest of the left.


Fri, Nov 9, 2012 : 5:58 p.m.

TruBlu - Executive bonuses were preserved because Chris Dodd, prominent and powerful Democrat, removed the language from the bill that was intended to regulate them. You appear to have either missed or disregarded that scandal.


Fri, Nov 9, 2012 : 4:21 p.m.

Redistribution of wealth? Oh, you must mean the one where those raking in 400 times the national average income are being forced to pay an equal proportion of their 400 times what's average income to keep the country running, right? Yeah, I think that's the example you have in mind - the one that APPLIES right here in the Good Ol' U. S. of A. :-) Or maybe we should go back to the Golden Bush Years, during which tax payers money went to bail out the major financial corporations which were deemed "too big to fail." Executive bonuses were PRESERVED - showing the generosity of our trusted government officials - can't have any of that Mean Old Redistribution of Wealth - except when the "wealth" of the average wage/salary earners is being "redistributed" to keep the frauds living in high style. Just for fun - why don't you try weaning yourself off (right wing) political propaganda? :-)


Fri, Nov 9, 2012 : 2:21 p.m.

Should have voted.


Fri, Nov 9, 2012 : 3:42 a.m.

Yes, another four years of robbing from the rich to give the the lazy ones.


Fri, Nov 9, 2012 : 1:14 a.m.

This is sad! Why don't these guys do some work for citizens. Outside yard work, trim shrubs, rake leaves. They could make $10-$50 in 4 to 5 hours. (I'm talking 1 person) not a group of 3-4. You don't let them in your house and pay when the job is done.


Mon, Nov 12, 2012 : 1:48 p.m.

Seriously? How many of you commenters have offered work to a homeless person? Have you ever tried to get a job wearing the only outfit you own which is covered in stains, dirt, other things that are unavoidable? With no phone number for the employer to contact? Ugh! itself has an article WRITTEN BY a homeless man telling the community they WANT to work and would LOVE to shovel your driveway free of snow.


Fri, Nov 9, 2012 : 7:53 p.m.

Offering work to one of the homeless is like offering Kryptonite to Superman.


Fri, Nov 9, 2012 : 6:22 p.m.

Because they do not want to work now or ever. That's their entire problem.


Fri, Nov 9, 2012 : 4:26 p.m.

Who do you mean by "these guys"?? Oh, that's right, you must mean the guys who have several million dollars (several lifetimes worth) stashed away and who continue to collect dividends without any effort at all. Yeah, put those guys to work -- after all , EARNING $50 for 4 to 5 hours work would suit them just fine, I'm sure. ;-)


Thu, Nov 8, 2012 : 11:39 p.m.

The group certainly could not have been part of the local homeless commmunity. They are too noble to do something like that.


Thu, Nov 8, 2012 : 10:59 p.m.

Seems like they got panhandled a little too aggressively and decided to call the cops. So I can't see the police putting much effort into $10 that pretty much got handed over to someone?


Fri, Nov 9, 2012 : 5:02 p.m.

@djacks24: that's assuming this incident will be the last - hard to say that since the group SUCCEEDED in getting $10 for their efforts to bully / intimidate someone. As for the police - you're obviously an expert in law enforcement and "know" that our AAPD (etc) are going to ignore this OBVIOUS extortion as they do all "minor crimes." So, according to you, the victims "got panhandled a little too agressively" and decided to call the cops. Interesting premise you have there: It's somehow WRONG to call for police assistance after having been robbed?? Gee, here I've been believing that calling the cops after an ASSAULT (that's the police / legal definition) was the right thing to do. Thanks so much for your total reinterpretation of the law and reality - we just haven't been aware of your genius and wisdom up until we read your comment. Ho-ho!!


Thu, Nov 8, 2012 : 10:37 p.m.

The robbery yesterday on State Street was a purse snatching. A woman grabbed another woman's purse. The robbery near Panera was probably done by a group of panhandlers that hang out near Brugger's Bagels. They are usually there in the afternoon. I walk on the otherside of the street to avoid them. They usually aren't that bad unless they have been drinking. They will probably there tomorrow.


Thu, Nov 8, 2012 : 8:53 p.m.

The 47% have become emboldened by The Leader's re-election. We should leave the inner shell of Ann Arbor to the horde and move to Saline.


Fri, Nov 9, 2012 : 7:08 a.m.

I'll pack your bags for you! Good riddance! Bye-bye now!


Thu, Nov 8, 2012 : 9:47 p.m.

Yeah, sounds good! Bye!


Thu, Nov 8, 2012 : 8:33 p.m.

This kind of incident will continue to happen as long as the climate in Ann Arbor is so friendly to panhandlers and homeless.


Thu, Nov 8, 2012 : 7:53 p.m.

Im willing to bet these thugs are part of the massive bum population leaching off our community. Almost all of which are from other parts of the state/country. I'm sick of having dirty drug addicts shouting at me for money when I go downtown. We really need to start getting rid of some of these vagrants.

music to my ear

Thu, Nov 8, 2012 : 7:53 p.m.

need to start tucking our money away where they will NEVER find it


Thu, Nov 8, 2012 : 9:41 p.m.

Remind me never to sell you anything.

David Stephenson

Thu, Nov 8, 2012 : 7:41 p.m.

My guess it is the three men who hang out there almost every day aggressively pan handling. They tried to intimidate me last week. Thankfully I'm a 6'6" man and they backed off when I told then to.


Mon, Nov 12, 2012 : 1:44 p.m.

Too weird, just posted above this....I had the same thought that this may be people unfamiliar with the area who were frightened by the panhandlers. Who walks down the street holding a $10 bill?


Thu, Nov 8, 2012 : 8:37 p.m.

How close is the description in the story to the men who tried to intimidate you?


Thu, Nov 8, 2012 : 8:34 p.m.

lol really? I'm about to go walk down there. I love chasing off aggressive bums.


Thu, Nov 8, 2012 : 8:10 p.m.

That was my first thought as well. They intimidate everybody who walks by there, and I wouldn't be surprised to learn that it was them.


Thu, Nov 8, 2012 : 7:28 p.m.

I had two different friends post on FB that they witnessed a "purse-snatching" on campus yesterday afternoon; I wonder if this was it. 4:30 pm at Panera on State Street is a pretty bustling time/area. Scary to think that the criminals are getting so bold!

Ypsi Russell

Fri, Nov 9, 2012 : 5:20 p.m.

These men have been harrassing people near there habitually, and lately they've been spending afternoons sitting and drinking together on N. University, where the planter wall narrows the sidewalk. One is well known for the pitch, "spare any change? ...well how about fifty dollars!", and another for his "food drive for the homeless soup kitchen" scam (he holds a clipboard to seem more "official"). None of them pose any danger though; I've found that a swat in the face with a newspaper will make them complain loudly, but not bring any kind of reprisal.


Thu, Nov 8, 2012 : 7:19 p.m.

Considering time of day AND the story seems completely fishy....sorry... I'm sure something happened.....but I really doubt it's what's being told.


Mon, Nov 12, 2012 : 1:43 p.m.

I thought it sounded weird too. Why would someone be walking down the street with 10 dollars in their hand? The way the story was written this could have been some out-of-towners who were frightened by our aggressive panhandlers.


Fri, Nov 9, 2012 : 9:38 a.m.

And I can tell you both know "odd"!


Fri, Nov 9, 2012 : 12:15 a.m.

I agree..."five or six intoxicated men about 50 years old" on campus at 4:00 on the afternoon just seems a bit odd....

Macabre Sunset

Thu, Nov 8, 2012 : 7:18 p.m.

Because $10 isn't worth the risk of getting into a fight or discovering the person trying to rob you has a weapon, especially if your first priority is protecting your loved ones.


Thu, Nov 8, 2012 : 10 p.m.

$10 is a lot of money to some people...but beyond that one has the right..or as it seems in this town, no one is 'entitled to' what is mine! I'm an old woman and say...bring it!


Thu, Nov 8, 2012 : 7:41 p.m.

@ Billy, Yeah, but most of the time it will.


Thu, Nov 8, 2012 : 7:30 p.m.

On that same note....sometimes running and capitulating won't save you...


Thu, Nov 8, 2012 : 7:04 p.m.

Why do people give up their money so easily? Unless they had a gun, I would have laughed at them and made them take it from me, it would have been the hardest $10 they ever earned..... if they were successful.


Fri, Nov 9, 2012 : 4:49 p.m.

To answer your question: SOME people give up their money (and risk their lives) so easily because they believe -- (a) it's irresponsible to obstruct or stop bullies, (b) they think that walking around helpless is a "good bet" and therefore it ALWAYS applies to them forever and ever and (c) they "know" that all possible means of defending oneself are "futile" and you are somehow "arrogant" for believing you CAN defend yourself. Oh, and some of your critics think that, because you say you have the capability to defend yourself -- YOU DON'T and are therefore pretending to be an actor who plays roles depicting someone who CAN defend themselves. This is an amazing (godlike) ability to see "truth" without knowing a single thing about you (or the actor Chuck Norris)!! You should feel ashamed of your confidence; after all, these geniuses criticizing you know all about everything - (except for the most basic elements of self defense). ;-)


Thu, Nov 8, 2012 : 10:57 p.m.

Okay Chuck Norris....


Thu, Nov 8, 2012 : 7:24 p.m.

"5 or 6 intoxicated men" would do it for me. Plus, they didn't just hand it of the men grabbed it away. I think Billy's right that there might be more to this story...