PHOENIX -- Police arrested a homeless man last week who allegedly held up an Arizona State CU branch with a simulated homemade bomb.

Although the package contained just wires, metal pieces and duct tape, it gave employees a scare.

Officers quickly arrested Michael Albert Swinney, 55, in a nearby parking lot, moments after he fled the credit union with an undisclosed amount of cash. Swinney admitted to police later he had been planning to rob a bank so he could pay for medical care, according to police.

The suspect entered the bank just before 12:30 p.m., placed an explosive-looking device on a teller’s counter and handed her a note demanding money. The teller gave him cash and he fled east on Highway 260.

Swinney then went to Taco Bell, where he changed out of some of his clothing, leaving several articles behind in the bathroom, police said.

Swinney told police he had been indigent, he had been a transient, had not had any luck with government programs. He had medical issues and felt in his mind that he needed to be treated medically and couldn’t get access and so he made the decision to attempt this crime.



Subscribe Now

Authoritative analysis and perspective for every segment of the credit union industry

14-Day Free Trial

No credit card required. Complete access to articles, breaking news and industry data.