‘I am sorry I have to do this’: Oakland County man with Airsoft pistol robs store, police say

Matthew Brusen charged with armed robbery

Matthew Christopher Brusen
Matthew Christopher Brusen (WDIV)

INDEPENDENCE TOWNSHIP, Mich. – An Oakland County man armed with an Airsoft pistol was arrested after he robbed a store, apologized to the clerk and shaved off all his facial hair to try to hide his identity, police said.

Matthew Christopher Brusen, 21, of Independence Township, walked into the Rite Aid Pharmacy at 5751 Clarkston Road in Independence Township at 6:27 p.m. Sunday, according to authorities.

Brusen took an item to the register and handed the clerk money when she scanned the item, police said.

When the clerk gave Bursen his change, he told her, “I’ll take the money,” officials said. He lifted his coat to reveal a bulge, indicating he was armed, according to police.

Authorities said Brusen told the clerk, “It’s only money” before he took the cash from the register and exited the store.

As he was leaving, Brusen said, “I am sorry I have to do this,” according to officials.

Deputies from the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office weren’t able to track Brusen, but they obtained video of the incident to identify him.

Detectives from the Independence Substation said they arrested Brusen at 10 a.m. Monday. He was taken into custody without incident, officials said.

Police recovered the item from the store, an Airsoft pistol, the clothes Brusen wore during the robbery and $433 of the $500 stolen, according to authorities.

Brusen had shaved off his facial hair in an attempt to alter his image, police said. He has a criminal history that includes multiple drug misdemeanors, retail fraud and breaking and entering.

Brusen was taken to the Oakland County Jail and is facing an armed robbery charge. Armed robbery carries a maximum penalty of life in prison.

He was arraigned Tuesday at 52-2 District Court and is being held in lieu of $200,00 bail. Brusen must wear a GPS tether if released, officials said.

Brusen is scheduled to return to court at 8:35 a.m. Feb. 28.


About the Author:

Derick is a Senior Web Producer for ClickOnDetroit and has been with Local 4 News since April 2013. Derick specializes in breaking news, crime and local sports.