JUST IN: Greenville man charged with attempted armed robbery in Belding

By Elisabeth Waldon • Last Updated 4:30 pm on Wednesday, March 21, 2012

OTISCO TOWNSHIP— A Greenville man was arraigned and charged today after entering an elderly couple’s home Tuesday, threatened them with a knife, assaulting the woman and then fleeing before being apprehended by police.

Robert Rehkopf

Robert James Rehkopf, 26, was arraigned and charged with attempted armed robbery and resisting and obstructing a police officer. Bond has been set at $100,000.
Ionia County Sheriff’s deputies responded to a home in the 9000 block of W. Belding Road at about 9:30 a.m. Tuesday after a reported attempted armed robbery.
Rehkopf allegedly gained access to the home of an elderly couple at about 7:30 a.m., explaining that he was in trouble and needed help, according to Undersheriff Dale Miller. Rehkopf’s stories kept changing. First, he told the couple he’d been in a fight, then said he had car trouble.
“They were trying to be nice and help him out,” said Miller of the elderly couple.
After Rehkopf had been in the home about two hours, he allegedly took a knife that was in the home and threatened the couple, telling them to give him money. Rehkopf allegedly began to assault the elderly woman, but she managed to fight him off. After the altercation, Rehkopf fled the home.
The elderly woman was not injured in the altercation.
Various witnesses described seeing Rehkopf in the area. He knocked on the doors of other homes in the neighborhood, but was turned away by the residents.
A perimeter was set up and an Ionia County Sheriff K9 unit was brought in and began to track Rehkopf in the area where he was last seen. He was observed by officers fleeing west from the perimeter area. Officers pursued him west into a wooded swamp. After a foot chase by Ionia County Sheriff’s detectives, Rehkopf was apprehended.
The Belding Police Department and the Michigan State Police Lakeview Post assisted at the scene.
Rehkopf had absconded from prison at the time of the alleged crime.
He was convicted of breaking and entering a building with intent in Kent County in 2005 and was sentenced to from one year and eight months to 10 years in prison in 2008.
He also was convicted of second-degree attempted home invasion in Montcalm County in 2006 and was sentenced to from one year and six months to five years in prison.
He also was convicted of attempted larceny from a person in Montcalm County in 2004 and was sentenced to up to two years in prison.

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