OUR VIEW: Task force taking criminals to task

By Daily News • Last Updated 9:30 pm on Friday, February 17, 2012

We all breathed a little easier when we heard the news.

The alleged bank robber had been apprehended.

The armed robbery of Huntington Bank in downtown Greenville was no ordinary crime.

On the morning of Nov. 9, a man allegedly entered the bank, vaulted the teller counter and put a semiautomatic pistol to the head of a female teller. He demanded she and another female teller open their cash drawers. He then took the contents of the drawers — $2,761 — and ran, kicking and breaking a door on his way out.

Police were unable to immediately catch the masked robber as he ran east across Lafayette Street.

Since that frightening incident, we’ve all been wondering … who was the man under the ski mask? Was he local? Would he strike again?

Law enforcement officials have been on the case since the moment it happened. Two months after the armed robbery, the Greenville Department of Public Safety, Montcalm County Sheriff’s Department and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) formed a joint task force.

Their goal? To investigate the bank robbery, along with a retail fraud at Huch’s Fine Jewelry in Greenville on Nov. 29 and an armed robbery at Family Dollar in Greenville on Jan. 5.

Thanks to an anonymous tip, officers were able to track down Reuben Olson III at his girlfriend’s home. Olson has since been charged in federal court with armed bank robbery.

Greenville Department of Public Safety Interim Director Gary Valentine credited Olson’s arrest to “the hard and persistent work of the officers on the task force.”

We’d like to give them credit too. Thanks to the teamwork of our city, county and federal officials, we’re feeling a lot more secure.

Let’s all do our best to support this task force and all our law enforcement officials. While we’re speculating about local crime, they’re out on the street working and protecting us.

Editorial opinions are a consensus of The Daily News editorial board.

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