STILLWATER, Minn. (WCCO) – A Michigan man was charged Monday with 2nd-degree aggravated robbery after robbing a bank Saturday morning with a fake bomb – which shut down a part of downtown Stillwater for hours.
According to a complaint filed in Washington County, 65-year-old David Michael Tyler traveled from his town of Cheboygan, Mich. to Minnesota in order to rob a bank. Tyler says he decided to rob a bank because he owes $90,000 in child support payments and felt he had no other option.
He made a fake bomb at his Cheboygan home, and then wrote a demand note at a local library. He next drove from Michigan to Duluth, but decided to target a bank in Forest Lake after pointing to the city at random on an atlas.
Tyler also changed his mind about Forest Lake, and decided next to focus on Stillwater. He checked into a Super 8 Motel Monday, and spent the week scouting banks in the city. He then drove to St. Louis Park to buy a beard and mustache kit. Unsatisfied, Tyler decided to use some crape wool to make a false beard instead.
He checked out of the Super 8 on Friday, and checked into the Lowell Inn that afternoon. Saturday morning, he entered the U.S. Bank at 2nd and Chestnut in Stillwater at 9:30 a.m., wearing the fake beard and dark tinted glasses. He placed a black briefcase on the bank teller’s desk, and told the teller that it was “going to be a good day or a lousy day” for both of them.
Tyler told the teller that the briefcase contained an improvised explosive device (IED) controlled by his cell phone that would “level the entire block.” He then handed her a note demanding $200,000 and a backpack to fill.
After the teller placed money in the bag, Tyler looked inside and determined it wasn’t enough. The teller began to place more money inside, and Tyler told her that he had just pressed a button on his phone which armed the IED to explode in 10 minutes.
Tyler fled the bank, but was apprehended nearby on Myrtle Street while standing next to his pickup truck.
His bag contained only $3,726 in stolen money.
In the complaint, Tyler stated that he knew he would get caught for the robbery, and said that he was “gone forever.”
Several blocks in downtown Stillwater where closed for five hours as authorities investigated the alleged IED, which turned out to be a fake. No one was injured.