A Howell man facing federal charges in connection with three bank robberies told authorities he simply “lost his marbles”.

35-year-old Kenneth Kniivila is in federal custody for bank robbery according to a complaint filed in U.S. District Court in Detroit. It alleges Kniivila robbed the Bank of America on Grand River in Genoa Township on January 11th and got away with between $4,000 and $6,000 in cash. Then around 10:30am on January 16th, Kniivila is said to have robbed a Huntington Bank branch in Toledo, Ohio but the teller there placed a red dye pack in the bag of money, which exploded, so he dropped the bag and fled. A few hours later at 2:30pm, an affidavit says Kniivila entered a Fifth Third Bank branch in Monroe and left the bank with an undisclosed amount of money.

After surveillance photos went public, law enforcement was able to identify Kniivila as the primary suspect. The Livingston County Sheriff’s Office took him into custody without incident at around 10:30pm that same night and a vehicle search turned up various items including four grams of suspected cocaine, two black semi-automatic pellet guns, a hotel card key, money, used black rubber gloves, a black jacket and green canvas bags. The Sheriff’s Office and the FBI interviewed Kniivila, who waived his Miranda rights and admitted to the three robberies. He told authorities he “lost his marbles” on the 16th and drove around Toledo looking for a bank to rob. Kniivila told authorities he used his girlfriend’s van during the robberies and then switched out vehicles, using cash from the bank robberies to purchase a used Chevy Impala.

Kniivila remains in federal custody and is to appear for a detention hearing January 24th. Photo: The Monroe News. (JM)