On April 30, 2022, officers responded to a Kum and Go located at 2161 East Republic to investigate a robbery. The victim told officers her vehicle had been taken away by a man with a knife. The victim said the man pointed a knife at her and demanded the keys to her car.
The victim said she was putting gas in her car when she saw the man standing in a grassy area next to the gas station. After she went inside the store to pay for the gas, the man approached her as she returned to her car. The man demanded the keys to her car and told the victim he would stab her in the neck, according to the probable cause statement. The victim gave her keys to the man and ran back inside the store.
Video footage from the Kum & Go showed the suspect briefly stepped into the store and was captured on surveillance video. SPD released photos of the man and received a tip that the person in the pictures was possibly a man named Michael Free. Springfield Police said the victim told investigators she was sure the man in the pictures was the man who threatened her and stole her car.
Free was arrested in Iowa on a narcotics charge and is currently in custody with the Iowa police.
Free is charged with first-degree robbery, armed criminal action, and tampering with a motor vehicle.