GRAND RAPIDS, MICH. - An accused Grand Rapids bank robber who told one teller ‘thanks’ and another ‘you’re about to have a really bad day,’ appeared in federal court Monday on charges that could put him in prison for up to 20 years.
Investigators say Dennis Lee Burger netted about $9,600 in two heists earlier this month at Macatawa Bank branches in Grand Rapids.
Burger, 52, is charged in a criminal complaint with bank robbery. He waived a preliminary hearing Monday in U.S. District Court in Grand Rapids. His next federal court appearance is set for mid-February.
The first robbery occurred about 11 a.m. at the Macatawa branch at 3177 Knapp Street at East Beltline Avenue NE.
The suspect appeared to be filling out a transaction slip when he stated that he forgot his account number and left the bank for a few moments, according to a criminal complaint. He came back in and handed a teller a transaction slip and a plastic sandwich baggie.
A hand-written message on the slip stated “this is a robbery, put all cash in this bag.’’
The teller put approximately $3,567 in the baggie and pushed it toward the robber, court records show.
“The robber then said ‘thanks,’ left the bank and drove away in a late model Kia Soul, according to the criminal complaint.
The second robbery occurred around noon on Jan. 16 about 6½ miles away at the Macatawa branch at 2440 Burton Street just east of Breton Road SE. Like the earlier heist, the suspect handed the teller a sandwich bag and a transaction slip with the message “this is a robbery, put all cash in this bag.’’
As he pushed the baggie towards the teller, the robber remarked: “You’re about to have a really bad day,’’ court records show.
The suspect then put both hands in his jacket pockets, which the teller interpreted to mean he might be concealing a handgun, according to the criminal complaint. The teller put approximately $6,000 in the baggie and gave it to the robber, who then left in a maroon-colored Chevy sedan.
Two employees said they recognized the bank robber as a regular customer later identified as Burger.
A criminal complaint was issued on Wednesday, Jan. 17 and Burger was arrested the next day near 28th Street and Eastern Avenue SE. Bank robbery is punishable by up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
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