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Man forces entry to car; robs student

Observer Staff Report | Monday, October 3, 2011

Police arrested a South Bend man Thursday for threatening a Notre Dame student and forcing him to drive through the city and withdraw money from area ATMs.

Capt. Phil Trent with the South Bend Police Department said Anthony Coleman approached the student around 4 a.m. Tuesday at a Speedway gas station on the 2100 block of South Bend Avenue.

Coleman, 31, told the student he had a gun and forced him to let him into his car. Police said Coleman directed him to drive to two different ATMs in downtown South Bend and withdraw cash.

The student drove Coleman to several houses after he withdrew the money, police said. At one point, the student told police that the robber appeared to be smoking a crack pipe after leaving one of the homes.

Trent said the student was afraid to drive away from Coleman each time the robber got out of his car, but he eventually sped away from Coleman when he walked far enough away from the vehicle. The student returned to his home and called the police.

The officer who took the student’s report recognized his description of the robber and believed him to be a suspect in at least one similar theft, and the police arrested Coleman on Thursday night. He is currently held in the St. Joseph County Jail and is awaiting charges from the prosecutor’s office.