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Posted on Sat, Mar 30, 2013 : 11:26 a.m.

Competency exam ordered for man accused of robbing TCF Bank

By Kyle Feldscher

The man accused of robbing an Ypsilanti Township TCF Bank will return to court in May for a hearing to determine if he is competent enough to stand trial.


John Sawaya

Courtesy of WCSO

John Sawaya, 50, of Ypsilanti, was in court Tuesday morning for the first preliminary exam hearing in his case. According to court records, the exam was adjourned until 8:30 a.m. May 21 for a competency hearing.

Sawaya is charged with armed robbery and bank robbery for the March 16 incident at the TCF Bank, 2150 Packard Road. According to deputies, Sawaya went to the bank and implied he had a weapon before leaving with cash.

He was arrested the next day after an Ypsilanti police officer recognized him from surveillance photos released by the Washtenaw County Sheriff’s Office. Some of the money that was reportedly stolen was recovered during the arrest.

Sawaya was on parole for a 2003 conviction for four bank robberies at the time of his arrest. He served just under 10 years for the convictions and was released from prison in August 2010. Records show he was supposed to be released from parole in August 2013.

He remains lodged at the Washtenaw County Jail as of Wednesday. Bond information was not available from jail records.

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



Sun, Mar 31, 2013 : 3:40 a.m.

So what happens if he is ruled incompetent, set free, and then robs another bank?


Mon, Apr 1, 2013 : 12:25 p.m.

Then the process will start all over again.


Sun, Mar 31, 2013 : 12:27 a.m.

He got te shirt an tie right, but instead of a gun he should have brought a naked credit default swap on a collateralized mortgage-backed debt obligation with him, and threatened to blow up the bank that way. He would have gotten way more money, and no jail time.


Sat, Mar 30, 2013 : 6:22 p.m.

Hope he wears the shirt and tie to his hearing like he did when he allegedly robbed the bank.