Lion’s Den suspect wanted for embezzlement

Joseph Leiffer. (July 22, 2014)
Joseph Leiffer. (July 22, 2014)

COLDWATER, Mich. (WOOD) — A man who allegedly held an employee hostage at an adult novelty store north of Coldwater was charged Wednesday.

Joseph Jason Leiffer, 39, of Carleton faces charges of fleeing and eluding police, two counts of kidnapping and a count of felony firearm possession.

The Branch County Sheriff’s Office says Leiffer first robbed the CVS Pharmacy in Angola, Ind. Tuesday, then led authorities on a chase that ended at the Lion’s Den on Jonesville Road, just east of I-69.

A suspect barricaded inside the Lion's Den Adult Superstore near Coldwater on July 22, 2014. (Photo courtesy: The Daily Reporter)
(A suspect barricaded inside the Lion’s Den Adult Superstore near Coldwater on July 22, 2014.)

Carrying a .40-caliber handgun, the sheriff’s office says, Leiffer went into the store and forced a worker at gunpoint to lock the front doors. Authorities said Tuesday that the employee was able to build a rapport with Leiffer and negotiate with him.

After a standoff with police, Leiffer gave himself up. No one was hurt.

After arresting him, authorities say they learned Leiffer was already wanted for felony embezzlement in his hometown.

Leiffer is a former village treasurer in Carleton, a village council member said.

Wednesday, his bond was set at $250,000.

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