Robbery suspect caught in Valley View Mall
Nov 28, 2012 (Menafn - The Roanoke Times - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --Roanoke police on Tuesday arrested a man in a bank robbery case that led officers on a search through Valley View Mall.
Authorities charged Michael Sylvester Byers, 53, of Roanoke with one count of robbery.
Police spokeswoman Aisha Johnson said officers were called just after 9 a.m. to Freedom First Credit Union in the 5100 block of Williamson Road.
Johnson said a man walked into the bank, slipped a note to one of the tellers, then walked away with an undisclosed amount of money.
Police tracked him to Valley View Mall, where they said he changed his clothing. Responding officers arrived at the mall en masse, posted officers at several entrances and found Byers on the second floor, between a shoe store and a juniors clothing boutique.
Officers also found discarded clothing and collected it as evidence, Johnson said.
As shoppers walked through the mall, where holiday music was playing over the loudspeakers, several did double-takes as they passed Byers, who sat handcuffed on a bench surrounded by officers. He was wearing a blue-and-white tracksuit and a winter hat.
A representative at North Roanoke Assisted Living confirmed that Byers lives at the facility, which is a mile-and-a-half north of Freedom First Credit Union.
Byers could face no less than five years in prison if convicted of the robbery. Roanoke Circuit Court records show he pleaded guilty in June 1986 to one count of grand larceny.
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