Apologetic suspect in robbery of Independence Twp. pharmacy charged

Charles E. Ramirez
The Detroit News

Independence Township — A man who allegedly robbed a drug store Sunday and apologized to the clerk as he fled has been arrested and charged, officials said.

Matthew Christopher Brusen, 21, of Independence Township has been charged with a count of armed robbery, a life felony, according to the Oakland County Sheriff's Office. 


Brusen was arraigned in 52-2 District Court in Clarkston on the charge Tuesday. A magistrate ordered him held on $200,000 bond and scheduled his next court appearance for Feb. 28.

Police said he has a criminal history that includes multiple drug misdemeanors, retail fraud and breaking and entering.

According to the sheriff's office, a man robbed the Rite Aid Pharmacy at 5751 Clarkston Road near Sashabaw at 6:27 p.m. Sunday.

MoreIndependence Twp. Rite Aid Pharmacy suspect: 'Sorry I have to do this'

The man entered the store, selected an item to purchase and went to the register. After the cashier rang him up, the man handed her money and she gave him change. At that time, he allegedly told the cashier "I'll take the money," police said.

He allegedly lifted his coat to show a bulge and imply that he was armed. The man then told the clerk "it's only money," according to officials.

The cashier handed over money from the register. Police said as the man exited he told the store employee: "I am sorry I have to do this."

Deputies searched for the man with a canine unit but were unsuccessful.

On Monday, detectives arrested Brusen after getting a tip, officials said. They recovered the item the man purchased at the pharmacy, along with an air soft pistol, the clothes they believe the man wore during the robbery and $433 of $500 that was taken.

Authorities also said Brusen had shaved off his facial hair before his arrest in an attempt to alter his image.


Twitter: @CharlesERamirez