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Robbery Suspect Formally Charged In Branch County
Thursday Jul 24, 2014 12:35am
Branch County Courthouse • Coldwater, MI

By: Jim Measel

(COLDWATER) - A man who allegedly robbed an Angola pharmacy of medications, led police on a pursuit with speeds reaching over 120 miles an hour and held a woman hostage inside of an adult bookstore near Coldwater for almost three hours was arraigned in Branch County District Court on Wednesday.

39-year-old Joseph Jason Leiffer of Carleton, Michigan was charged with two counts of kidnapping, fleeing and eluding, and felony firearm possession. The Branch County Sheriffs Department said in a news release that the suspect also has a felony warrant out of Carleton for embezzlement.

Bond was set at $250,000 during Leiffer's arraignment and a preliminary exam was scheduled for next Thursday morning at 9:00am.

Leiffer is expected to be eventually brought back to Steuben County to face charges in connection with the alleged robbery of the C.V.S. Pharmacy on North Wayne Street in Angola. Steuben County Prosecutors were reviewing the case on Wednesday.

Angola Police says Leiffer went to the pharmacy counter at about 9:40am and handed the clerk a note which said he wanted controlled substances and that he was armed.

The Pharmacist complied with the demands. Angola Police saw a vehicle driving in a reckless manner on North Wayne and Mill and tried to get it to stop. Police then noticed it did not have a license plate.

Following the robbery, a pursuit involving numerous police agencies went north on I-69. With stop sticks being put in place by Michigan State Police, the suspect exited at Jonesville Road north of Coldwater and pulled into the parking lot of the Lions Den Adult Bookstore.

Branch County Sheriffs Deputies say he was armed with a 40 caliber handgun. He went inside of the business and forced an employee to lock the doors.

The suspect was eventually talked into surrendering at about 1:10pm by the Michigan State Police Emergency Service Team and a Branch County dispatcher.

No injuries were reported in any of the incidents.

Photo courtesy Branch County Sheriffs Department
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