BY MICHELLE MERLIN
— TRAVERSE CITY — Authorities arrested an Interlochen man on suspicion of armed robbery.
Michigan State Police responded to a report of an armed robbery at the Wendy’s restaurant in Interlochen on Sunday night.
Police were able to track and arrest Aubrey Earl Rye, 50, by following his footprints in the snow and matching his appearance to a witness description.
Rye is charged with armed robbery and as a fourth-offense habitual offender. Both charges could land him in jail for life.
Rye is being held at the Grand Traverse County jail. Two of his previous convictions are for armed robbery, one in 1985 and one in 1991.
The suspect told Wendy’s employees he was robbing the store, hinted he had a weapon and demanded money, according to a Michigan State Police press release. He held his left hand in his pocket, making it appear that he had a gun, witnesses told police.
The suspect threatened to kill employees if they followed him or called the police, according to the release, before stuffing about $1,400 into his pockets.
Police tracked Rye to his mother’s house in Interlochen, where they found about $1,200 in cash in his coat, according to police reports.