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Charges filed in bank robbery that closed 'half of downtown Stillwater'

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A Cheboygan, Michigan, man faces a robbery charge after an attempted bank heist that disrupted much of downtown Stillwater last Saturday.

The Pioneer Press reports the criminal complaint against David Michael Tyler says he opened a briefcase to show a device that he said was capable of leveling a city block.

The device eventually proved to be a fake but it took the St. Paul Police Department's bomb squad to determine that. Stillwater Police Chief John Gannaway emphasized to the Pioneer Press that the contents of the briefcase looked enough like a bomb that authorities had to err on the side of caution by closing down streets in the area.

"I know that people were upset that we basically closed down half of downtown Stillwater for a good chunk of the day on one of the nicest days we've had so far this year, but there's a reason why we did what we did," Gannaway said.

A two block area was evacuated and closed for about six hours.

As for Tyler, police and sheriff's deputies caught up with him about a block from the bank. The Star Tribune reports the complaint mentions that Tyler said he owed $90,000 in child support payments and felt he had no option but to rob a bank.

Tyler, who is 65, also allegedly told police he had been a career criminal during the 1970s.

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