Detectives go for test drive in suspected Oakland County bank robber’s truck, arrest him

Ali Farhat told teller ‘people would die’ if he didn’t receive money, police say

Ali Hussein Farhat (Oakland County Sheriff's Office)

ROCHESTER HILLS, Mich. – A suspected Oakland County bank robber who told a teller “people would die” if he didn’t receive money was arrested after detectives confirmed his identity by taking a test drive with him in his pickup truck, which he put up for sale, officials said.

Bank robbery

The robbery happened at 4:47 p.m. Dec. 31 at the Chase Bank at 75 North Adams Road in Rochester Hills, according to authorities.

Police said Ali Hussein Farhat, 33, of Garden City, gave the bank teller a handwritten note that announced an armed robbery and threatened that “people would die” unless large bills were placed into an envelope quickly without anyone else being alerted.

Farhat implied he had a weapon, but one was never produced, authorities said.

He ran from the bank and got into a black 2009 Chevrolet Avalanche, which was parked nearby, according to officials.

Test drive

Detectives later learned that the Avalanche was being offered for sale on social media a few days after the robbery.

Officials said they contacted the seller and went for a test drive in the pickup. They were able to identify the seller, Farhat, as the suspected bank robber, according to authorities.

“I’m proud of our team and the work they did to track down this bank robber,” Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard said. “I am sure it is a relief to those in the bank that day who were scared to death during the robbery. He is now off the street and will be held accountable.”


Farhat was arrested Tuesday (Jan. 11) at a gas station in Garden City, according to officials. He is charged with armed robbery and bank robbery.

A BB gun that looked like a real weapon was among the items recovered during a search of the Avalanche and Farhat’s home, police said.

Farhat was arraigned Thursday at 52-3 Division District Court. He’s being held at the Oakland County Jail on $250,000 cash bond.

Officials said he has prior convictions for driving with a suspended license, second-degree retail fraud, operating a motor vehicle while impaired and third-degree retail fraud.

A conviction on either the bank robbery or armed robbery charges carries a maximum penalty of up to life in prison, authorities said.

About the Author:

Derick is the Lead Digital Editor for ClickOnDetroit and has been with Local 4 News since April 2013. Derick specializes in breaking news, crime and local sports.