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'Merry Christmas'


Knife-wielding high school student robs woman of Christmas cash, mumbles holiday wishes



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Allen (click for larger version)
December 30, 2009 - A Lake Orion High School student who robbed a woman at knifepoint uttered "Merry Christmas" on his way out the door, his victim told police.

Vidal McNeil Allen, 18, was arraigned Dec. 24 on charges of armed robbery and home invasion after he allegedly forced his way into the home of an Orion Township woman and robbed her of $160 intended for Christmas gifts. He is currently held on $10,000 bond at Oakland County Jail.

According to reports on file at the Orion Township substation, the incident occurred after a 67-year-old woman answered a knock on her door in the 3100 block of High Point Road shortly after 6 p.m. Dec. 22.

The person at the door, whom she described as an average-build, clean-shaven black male in his late teens, inquired whether a "Brandon" lived in the home.

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When woman the said no one by that name lived with her, or in the complex, the man produced a knife, pushed his way through the door, closed it behind him and told the woman to sit down.

He then asked several times "Where's the money?"

The woman told deputies the man was mumbling, but said when she finally understood what he wanted she went to the kitchen and retrieved $160, which she'd withdrawn from the bank for Christmas gifts an hour earlier.

Police later determined the incident had no connection to the bank withdrawal, and said the suspect did not follow the woman home.

He took the money, told the woman he had two friends waiting outside and warned her not to follow.

On his way out the door, he said "Merry Christmas."

Deputies working with a K-9 unit tracked the man to Waldon Lakes apartments in the 1900 block of Big Bend, where neighbors said a man fitting the suspect's description was dating a young woman who lived in the building and was seen around frequently.

Deputies obtained a key from the apartment manager after knocking went unanswered; no one was inside, but a knife matching the victim's description—kitchen-type cutlery with a 6-8 inch blade—was found in plain sight.

Information obtained at the scene led detectives to the suspect and Allen, who is an Orion Township resident but does not live at the Waldon Lakes apartments, was arrested Dec. 23.

If convicted, he could face a penalty from any number of years to life in prison on the armed robbery charge. The home invasion charge carries a penalty from any number of years to 20 years imprisonment, and up to a $5,000 fine.

According to Lt. Bruce Naile, commander of the Orion Township substation, Allen has no criminal history.

"This kid had no record," Naile said. "Now he could be looking at a life sentence."

For others, the incident can serve as a warning.

"Talk through the door," said Naile. "Don't open it if you don't know who's out there."

Lake Orion Review Editor
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