Reporting Brian New
DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) - The man who Dallas police say is responsible for 15 armed robberies, most targeting local insurance offices, was arrested over the weekend. Michael Cleveland, 30, was pulled over for allegedly failing to use his turn signal. According to police records, he was also driving with a suspended license and had marijuana in his pocket.
Officers then recognized the maroon Buick Rainier that Cleveland was driving. It was the same vehicle which had been spotted in one of the robbery surveillance videos.
Investigators say Cleveland terrorized local insurance companies in the Oak Cliff and Buckner Boulevard areas for months by walking into storefront insurance officers with his gun drawn and demanding money.
Carlos Luevano’s State Farm office was hit last month. “Lunch time, no customers there,” recalled Luevano. “I was talking to one of my team members. Then somebody comes in screaming ‘give me all the money’ — pointing the gun at everyone.”
Luevano said that he has been looking over his shoulder ever since. “It’s kind of life changing having a gun pointed at you,” he said.
The day after the robbery, Luevano installed a doorbell at his office. From then on, it would remain locked. He also posted a sign saying that office no longer accepts cash payments.
Cleveland’s parents told CBS 11 News that they were shocked to learn that authorities suspect that their son is responsible for more than a dozen robberies. They said that Cleveland had lost his job at a hotel this summer and was frustrated that he could not find work to support his three children.
At a news conference earlier this month, the Dallas Police Department asked for the public’s help in tracking down the suspect. At the time, investigators said that they were worried that the man was becoming more aggressive and that someone might get hurt.
Cleveland is being held on bond at the Dallas County Jail. He currently faces two charges of aggravated robbery.
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