Under arrest

Parrinello is escorted out of the Manistee County Courthouse Sunday morning after his arraignment by Deputy Jason Torrey. (John Counts/News Advocate)

Man apprehended and arraigned in tobacco store armed robbery

MANISTEE — The Michigan State Police have caught the man they think is responsible for the string of armed robberies in the Manistee area.

James Michael Parrinello, 29, of Manistee, was arrested Saturday afternoon and arraigned in the 85th District Court Sunday morning on charges of armed robbery and carrying a concealed weapon, among others.

Police made the arrest during a traffic stop and found a loaded handgun in the vehicle. There were no reported injuries.

As of now, the charges are only for the robbery of the Admiral Discount Tobacco last Wednesday, but law enforcement officials say they have evidence that connects Parrinello to two other armed robberies that took place in the city a month ago.

Manistee County prosecutor Ford Stone anticipates additional charges will be brought against Parrinello in the next few days in relation to incidents at Little Caesars and A & W, which were also robbed at gunpoint.

“Evidence from other sources place him at the locations of the other robberies,” Stone said.

The maximum sentence for armed robbery is life in prison.

On Friday, the Manistee City Police received a tip about a potential suspect.

“We got some information that pointed us in the right direction,” said Det. Sgt. Mark Miller of the Michigan State Police. “One of (Parrinello’s) coworkers thought he was a person of interest. We were able to determine where that van had come from.”

A blue van was seen by witnesses leaving the scene of the tobacco store after it was robbed. Police think the van in question came from Parrinello’s place of employment, a State of Michigan Adult Foster Care home located at Fruitridge Road in Filer Township near Cherry and Red Apple roads, according to state police.

According to a news release from the Michigan State Police, “Officers pursued the additional information relentlessly until they developed enough information for a search warrant. Prior to serving the search warrant, police received a tip that the suspect was driving a vehicle and possibly had the handgun in his possession.”

State police, city police, sheriff deputies and a detective from SCCENT scoured the Manistee area. Around 3:30 p.m., a state trooper located the vehicle Parrinello was driving near Pizza Hut. It was a different van from the one believed to be used in the Admiral robbery.

Police executed what they called a “coordinated, high-risk stop on the suspect vehicle.”

Parrinello was removed from the vehicle and a small-caliber loaded handgun equipped with a laser was located in plain view in the console of the dash, according to police. The gun, a Ruger LCP .380, matched the description of the one used at the tobacco shop.

Two residences were also eventually searched, including Parrinello’s.

It’s believed he acted alone.

“There’s nothing to indicate anyone helping in any of the robberies,” Stone said, though he added the involvement of others in varying capacities hasn’t been ruled out.

Parrinello is currently being held at the Manistee County jail without bond. Stone said he requested there be no bond “because (Parrinello) put so many people in fear.”

“This certainly wouldn’t have been possible without the cooperation of citizens, law enforcement (agencies) and the prosecutor’s office,” Miller said.

By law, Parrinello is entitled to a preliminary examination in the district court within 14 days.

2 comments on “Under arrest

  1. avatargigi

    On FB, one of the Manistee News updates said he was also charged with driving without a license. Does that mean he has a license but didn’t have it one him, or does it mean he truly doesn’t have a drivers license at all? Curious because if he was driving a vechicle for the state adult foster care, shouldn’t they be running a check on making sure their employees are licensed? Its a minor point, maybe, but it struck me as odd. Had to make sure in my old job downstate that all drivers for our mailroom had valid drivers licenses on an annual basis and auto insurance.

    • avatarMNA Staff

      He was charged with driving without a license. At this time, we’re not sure on the details of this charge, but we are working to get that information.

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