2 men terrorize Celebration Station staff, customers during violent Livonia robbery

Shop owner speaks out

The owner of a shop in Livonia is speaking out after surviving a violent and frightening robbery.
The owner of a shop in Livonia is speaking out after surviving a violent and frightening robbery.

LIVONIA, Mich. – The owner of a shop in Livonia is speaking out after surviving a violent and frightening robbery.

Joan Bates owns the Celebration Station in Livonia. She said on Sunday (Sept. 12) a man walked in with a red hoodie over his head and a red bandana over his face. She said he told her he needed balloons for his niece’s birthday.

Then another man in a red hoodie and red bandanna walked in. Bates said she didn’t think much of the bandannas.

“I said, ‘Does she like butterflies, mermaids?’ He came up from behind me and put his arm around my neck,” Bates said. “He said, ‘shut up. Stop talking. I am going to kill you.’”

Both men made everyone in the store, including Bates’ 6-year-old niece, lie on the floor. Bates said one knew which button to push to make the register open so he could take the cash.

The other man forced Bates to hand over her cash box, which had her rent inside and then slammed her niece up against a wall. They tried to tie Bates and her niece up with balloon ribbon.

“For somebody to come in and violate such a fun place is just disgusting,” she said. “You stripped a little girl of her innocence at somewhere that’s fun.”

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About the Authors:

Shawn Ley is an Emmy-Award winning reporter. In more than 20 years covering stories in television news, Shawn’s reporting has taken him from war-torn eastern Europe, to reporting from an F-16 fighter jet and now to the fast and furious breaking news of Detroit.

Kayla is a Web Producer for ClickOnDetroit. Before she joined the team in 2018 she worked at WILX in Lansing as a digital producer.