Search for Ty Hoffman called off after bank robbery in Blaine - New York News

Search for Ty Hoffman called off after bank robbery in Blaine, Minn.

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TCF Bank robbery suspect TCF Bank robbery suspect
Ty Hoffman Ty Hoffman
BLAINE, Minn. (KMSP) -

Ramsey County sheriff's officials said the search for wanted fugitive Ty Hoffman "heated up" on Monday after a suspect in the robbery at TCF Bank in Blaine appeared to match his description; however, authorities called off the search shortly after 6 p.m. after finding no sign of him.

Hoffman is wanted in the Aug. 11 murder of Lush Bar co-founder Kelly Phillips. Friends of Hoffman who have seen the photo captured by the bank's video surveillance say it's him, but his sister said it's not. Meanwhile, friends and loved ones of the man he is suspected of killing are pleading for an end to the search.

"We feel there's an armed and dangerous killer on the loose," Gary Schiff explained. "We're asking Minnesota for help -- to stay vigilant, to stay aware."

On Sunday, Aug. 31 at about 2:01 p.m., police responded to a reported robbery at TCF Bank on 331 County Road 10 NE. A white man with a beard wearing a white t-shirt, baseball cap and glasses displayed a handgun and demanded money, leaving with an undisclosed amount. It is believed the money and suspect have been tainted with red dye from a dye pack.

According to police, video surveillance footage revealed the suspect appears to match the description of Hoffman. A law enforcement source said Monday afternoon there were a large number of "unsecured" hangars at the Anoka County-Blaine airport, and that they will be checking all of them in search for Hoffman. Police searched the area weeks ago following the murder, but did not find anything in either sweep.

"We thought this might be a likely place for him to hide," Chief Deputy John Kirkwood told Fox 9 News.

Yet, Steve Schultz was working on his experimental airplane during both law enforcement searches -- and he doesn't see the strategy.

"It wouldn't be a good place to hide," Schultz said. "Most hangars are not insulated. They don't have running water. If lights are on at night, someone will notice that."

Even so, law enforcement investigators are convinced that Hoffman is the man seen on the surveillance camera. Although many had assumed he was long gone from the area, officers say they have over evidence to support the conclusion that he is still in the north metro -- and may be more desperate than ever.

"He hasn't left the area, the country, or anything else we thought might have happened," Kirkwood insisted. "He's looking for resources. Needs money, trying to come up with it."

Hoffman is described as having short brown hair, hazel eyes and a large build at 6'2 and 230 pounds. Ramsey County investigators believe he may use apps and websites like Grindr, Scruff and Craigslist to find shelter. Police say to avoid contact with Hoffman and call 911 if you see him. Crime Stoppers is offering a $25,000 reward for his arrest.

The robbery suspect should be considered armed and dangerous and should not be approached. If you have information related to the bank robbery or the location of Ty Hoffman, call 911 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS.


TCF Bank robbery suspect, Blaine police

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