Suspects rob store at gunpoint, lead police on pursuit ending in crash

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KALAMAZOO, VAN BUREN COUNTIES, Mich. — The Kalamazoo County Sheriff’s Office says a suspected armed robber was flown to the hospital and another is in custody, after they robbed a store, then later crashed during a pursuit.

The original robbery happened at approximately 12:25 a.m. on Wednesday.  Police say two suspects armed with handguns walked into TJ’s Party Store on W KL Avenue, stole money and merchandise, and took the employees’ cell phones so they couldn’t call for help.

At about 1:30 a.m., deputies from Van Buren County spotted a suspicious vehicle on Red Arrow Highway near 70th Street in Hartford Township.  After receiving word of the armed robbery, they pulled the vehicle over.  While they were detaining a passenger, the driver sped off, leading police on a short pursuit.  The driver crashed, and suffered injuries that required assistance from a medical helicopter.

Police recovered a stolen handgun and evidence of the robbery in the vehicle.  Charges against both suspects are pending in both Van Buren and Kalamazoo Counties.

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