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Dearborn police: Armed robbery suspect in custody after search near Ford Rouge Plant

Detroit Free Press logo Detroit Free Press 8/6/2020 Phoebe Wall Howard, Frank Witsil and Emma Dale, Detroit Free Press
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Dearborn police said they have a suspect in custody after an hours-long search Thursday near AK Steel and the Ford Rouge Plant.

Police began warning people just before 11 a.m. to stay away from the steel and auto plant as authorities closed off entrances and exits and the factories went into lockdown to keep workers safe.

Police said the man robbed a liquor store at 31450 Cherry Hill at about 9:20 a.m., and then took off in a white and tan Ford F-150 pickup, heading west. Officers, who were headed to the store, saw the pickup going east on Ford to Brandt.

a car stopped at a traffic light: Dearborn police are searching for a suspect from an armed robbery in Garden City after a chase ended near AK Steel and the Ford Rouge Plant on Thursday morning. © Mandi Wright, Detroit Free Press Dearborn police are searching for a suspect from an armed robbery in Garden City after a chase ended near AK Steel and the Ford Rouge Plant on Thursday morning.

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They tried to stop the pickup, but it kept going. 

Police chased it to Dearborn Heights, then to south Telegraph. 

At I-94, Dearborn police joined in the pursuit, until at Schafer and Mellon, the suspect got out of the vehicle and ran toward the Ford and AK Steel plants. The steel plant is within the gates of the Rouge factory.

a truck is parked on the side of a road: Fire department vehicles are used to block entrances to the AK Steel facility in Dearborn on Thursday, Aug. 6, 2020. Dearborn police were searching for a suspect in an armed robbery in the area after a chase that started in Garden City. © Frank Witsil, Detroit Free Press Fire department vehicles are used to block entrances to the AK Steel facility in Dearborn on Thursday, Aug. 6, 2020. Dearborn police were searching for a suspect in an armed robbery in the area after a chase that started in Garden City.

No shots had been fired in Garden City or near the plants.

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Meanwhile, Kelli Felker, Ford spokeswoman, said that as a safety precaution, after the automaker was notified by police, the company locked down all the Rouge factory buildings, but that was lifted later in the afternoon.

“Normal operations have resumed at Ford’s Rouge site after the area was locked down for several hours due to a police incident that was unrelated to Ford,” Felker said at about 1:35 p.m.

AK Steel officials could not be immediately reached for comment. 

But, UAW spokesman Brian Rothenberg, whose labor organization represents about 7,000 workers at the Ford plant and 1,200 more at AK Steel, said in a statement that employees appear to be safe.

"At this point, it appears to not be workplace related," Rothenberg said. "Our thoughts and prayers are with the Dearborn Police and all who are on lockdown during this situation."

Contact Phoebe Wall Howard at 313-222-6512 or phoward@freepress.com. Follow her on Twitter @phoebesaid.

This article originally appeared on Detroit Free Press: Dearborn police: Armed robbery suspect in custody after search near Ford Rouge Plant

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