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A Bloomfield Hills man accused of bank robbery wore one of President Donald Trump's MAGA baseball hats during a heist, FBI officials said Monday.

Jeffrey James Chaney, 55, has been charged with bank robbery and robbery under the Hobbs Act, which prohibits robberies that affect interstate or foreign commerce, according to a criminal complaint filed Monday in U.S. District Court in Detroit.

The federal bank robbery charge carries a penalty of up to 10 years in prison while violations of the Hobbs Act are punishable by up to 20 years, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.

FBI officials said Chaney admitted robbing three banks and an Oak Park bakery. The crimes were committed between June 22 and July 18, according to the criminal complaint.

In one of the robberies, the suspect entered a Huntington Bank branch on Maple Road in Bloomfield Township about 1:50 p.m. July 2 and approached a teller. He brandished a gun and demanded money, authorities said. 

"The male approached the teller, placed a duffel style bag on the counter, brandished a black semi-automatic handgun and stated 'Put the money in the bag, don't put a dye pack in or I'll shoot,'" according to the complaint. The teller turned over about $5,993 to the man.

Witnesses told investigators the suspect wore a white "Make America Great Again" hat, a greenish-gray jacket, sunglasses and a dust mask over his face.

A man wearing a white MAGA hat and a dust mask attempted to rob a Chase Bank in nearby Lathrup Village about 20 minutes before the Bloomfield Township theft, officials said.

He approached a teller, brandished a gun and demanded money, but fled after the teller explained she had to log on to a computer to access the cash drawer, according to the complaint.

In each bank heist and attempt, witnesses told authorities the suspect was a white male, about 5-feet-9-inches tall, 180 pounds and between the ages of 50-55. He  covered his face with a dust mask.

He was seen fleeing the crime scenes in a black GMC SUV with a missing cap on the left rear wheel, officials said.

Last Tuesday, a man about the same size as the suspect and wearing a dust mask robbed a bakery in Oak Park, according to the complaint.

A witness told officers a black GMC Acadia sped away from the bakery, the report said. Minutes later, a Berkley police officer conducted a traffic stop of a black GMC SUV about a mile from the bakery. He identified the driver as Chaney, the complaint said.

Investigators immediately placed Chaney under surveillance, according to officials.

At about 6:35 p.m., agents followed Chaney to a store on Southfield Road in Birmingham, where they saw him discard a white object with a yellow band and another item in a trash can at the door, authorities said.

Police recovered a white dust mask and work gloves from the receptacle.

On Friday, police arrested Chaney. During an interview with agents and police, Chaney admitted to the crimes, according to the criminal complaint.

He told investigators the gun he used in them was an Airsoft pistol located in a bin at this home, authorities said. He also told them the jacket he wore in the robberies was hanging in his garage, where he also had extra dust masks.

 

cramirez@detroitnews.com

Twitter: @CharlesERamirez

 

 

 

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