Feds take over Niles Chemical Bank robbery casePublished 11:44am Monday, March 4, 2013
A Benton Harbor man accused of robbing the Chemical Bank in Niles will be tried in federal court.
Richard David Smith, 44, is scheduled to be arraigned on one count of bank robbery by force or violence Tuesday in front of Magistrate Judge Hugh Brenneman in U.S. District Court in Grand Rapids.
A detention hearing and pretrial is also scheduled for Smith Tuesday.
A person wearing a thick jacket, glasses and hat robbed the Chemical Bank on the corner of Main and Fifth streets in Niles Feb. 15. The robber presented the teller a note demanding money and threatening to blow up the bank if police were called.
Police said $1,800 was stolen.
No one was injured, and no bomb was found.
Smith was arrested Feb. 20 in Benton Harbor and charged with bank robbery and armed robbery. He was originally scheduled to appear in the Niles South County Court Friday, but the case was taken over by the feds Thursday, according to the Niles prosecutor’s office.
Federal prosecution is possible in bank robbery cases because banks are federally insured.