Armed robbery in Long Lake

FLORENCE, Wis. – A suspect remains at large after an armed robbery and carjacking that occurred Thursday in Long Lake, Wis., the Florence County Sheriff ‘s Office reported Saturday.

According to Chief Deputy Dave Gribble, the incident began at about 9:30 p.m. in the parking lot of Flatlanders Bar in Long Lake. A vehicle with three males and two younger children pulled into the parking lot and was approached by a man who asked the driver for a light.

As the driver turned, the subject jumped into the back seat, produced a handgun and ordered the driver to head south on Highway 139. Occupants were also ordered to put their wallets and cell phones on the dash.

After traveling about eight miles, and as the vehicle neared the town of Newald in Forest County, the man told the driver to pull over, at which time he let everyone out of the vehicle unharmed.

The suspect took off in the stolen vehicle, heading south on Highway 139. The victims ran to CJ’s Bar in Newald, Wis., and contacted the Forest County Sheriff’s Office. That agency recovered the vehicle a short time later, approximately three miles south of CJ’s Bar.

Several officers and a K-9 unit from Forest County, along with Florence County officers and a fixed winged aircraft from the Wisconsin State Patrol, searched for the suspect without success. Electronic tracking equipment from the Wisconsin Division of Criminal Investigation was also used.

Investigation indicates that the man may have been picked up by an accomplice, but the type of vehicle is unknown, Gribble said.

The suspect is described as an Hispanic male, 6 feet tall, 185 pounds, early 30s, with short black hair and a light goatee. He was wearing a white shirt with a leather-type jacket and a white and red Chicago Bulls baseball cap.

The accomplice is described as an Hispanic male in his 20s, 5-8, 140 to 150 pounds.

The Florence County Sheriff’s Office is working with the Michigan State Police and the Forest County Sheriff’s Office, following up on leads and conducting interviews on the incident that occurred in the town of Long Lake as well as a similar incident that occurred earlier in the day on Aug. 1 in Watton in Baraga County’s Covington Township.

The Watton incident happened at around 8 p.m. on Aug. 1 in a home on M-28. State Police at Calumet said that two white males, both described as having dark complexions forced their way into the home.

Witness reports indicate the men initially said they were federal agents and had demanded ransom money from the victims.

The men fled after allegedly stealing wallets, identification and other documents, and a handgun. They were last seen driving a white Cadillac Escalade EXT pickup. No injuries were reported.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Florence County Sheriff’s Office at 1-800-235-9897.