FOX 2 (WJBK) – A Southfield man has been arrested for robbing a Huntington Bank and police say he took an Uber to and from the bank and asked the driver to wait while holding the place up.
Jason Christmas, 42, was arrested by Southfield Police after a bank robbery on Wednesday.
According to police, they were dispatched to the Huntington Bank on Greenfield Road, north of Nine Mile, shortly after 5pm Thursday on a report of a bank robbery. Police said Christmas took an Uber to the bank and asked the driver to wait while he went inside and robbed the bank. The driver was unaware of the Christmas plans, police said.
“This is a very unusual way to commit an armed robbery in our city,” Southfield Police Chief Elvin Barren said.
The Uber driver took Christmas back to his apartment complex – the Heights of Southfield in Lahser – where police arrested him outside the apartment building.
In body camera video released by Southfield Police, Christmas is handcuffed and on the ground. The police asked him if he was shot because of the “red stuff” that was on him. The red stuff was from the dye pack that was put in with the money the bank handed over to him.
The money, which the police removed from his pocket, was covered with red dye.
The Uber driver was pulled over on I-696 after Southfield police found his license plate on surveillance video from the bank, but he was innocent and unconscious.
“Anytime you get a rideshare, your identity is shared with the next driver, which can be shared with law enforcement,” Barren said.
That information led police to Christmas – where he lived at the Heights of Southfield Apartments.
“Man, you got shot or something, why do you have this red thing?” said a police officer during the arrest.
It was definitely – not blood.
“He was wearing the same clothes as the robbers that were covered in red dye,” Barren said.
Dye uses money, even in the backseat of an Uber driver.
Barren said -they weren’t sure why Christmas was said to do it, but it was the season.
“There’s a lot of anxiety in buying gifts for your loved ones,” says Barren. “This is the time of year when individuals try to take advantage of our community and commit these types of crimes.”
Christmas was charged with bank robbery. The judge set a large bond of half a million in cash, not 10 percent.
The irony here is that the reason he used Uber – his license was suspended and he was worried about driving without a vehicle — was to allegedly, commit a bank robbery.