Ex-village treasurer arrested for robbery & kidnapping

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BRANCH COUNTY, Mich. — The former Carleton village treasurer has been arrested for robbing a pharmacy, kidnapping and fleeing from police.

At 10:11 a.m. Tuesday, Steuben County deputies and Angola, Ind., police were in pursuit of a suspect who had just robbed the CVS Pharmacy in Angola. The pursuit headed north on Interstate 69 into Michigan. Deputies from Branch County, along with Coldwater Police and Michigan State Police troopers assisted in the pursuit.

Branch County deputies took over the pursuit on a state road just north of U.S. 12. With stop sticks being put in place by Michigan State Police, the suspect exited the highway at Jonesville Road and pulled into the parking lot at the Lion’s Den just east of I-69 on Jonesville Road.

Armed with a 40-caliber handgun, the suspect, later identified as Joseph Jason Leiffer, 39, of Carleton, then went inside the business and forced an employee to the front to lock the doors. The Michigan State Police Emergency Service Team was called to assist with the barricaded suspect.

Leiffer turned himself over to the ES Team at approximately 1:10 p.m. Branch County deputies took him into custody and transported him to the Branch County Jail where he was charged him with felony fleeing and eluding, felony firearms and kidnapping.

Leiffer also was found to have a felony warrant out of Carleton for embezzlement.

He is being held on $250,000 bond.

There were no injuries reported in the incident.

The Branch County Sheriff’s Office was assisted by the Steuben County Sheriff’s Office, Angola Police Department, Fremont (Ind.) Police Department, Coldwater Police Department, Michigan State Police and Coldwater Fire Department.

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