MACOMB TOWNSHIP — Four young men were arrested June 7 after they were found in possession of numerous items allegedly stolen from Macomb Township cars and homes, as well as liquor and drug paraphernalia.
According to Macomb County Sheriff Anthony Wickersham, at around 4 a.m. a newspaper delivery person for The Macomb Daily observed a suspicious man walking on a residential street in the Buckingham Village subdivision, near 23 Mile and Card roads. Deputies responded to the area, and one of them — a Problem Oriented Policing deputy assigned to the Sheriff’s Department’s Macomb Township substation — located the suspect walking on Cheddleton Drive.
The man was detained and frisked, and a portable GPS navigational system was found in his pocket, Wickersham said. In the minutes that followed, sheriff’s deputies successfully rounded up three other larceny suspects and tracked down their vehicle on Vesper Drive.
“During their investigation, the deputies came across a car that was occupied, which was very unusual at 4 in the morning,” the sheriff explained. “There was an underage individual sitting in the car who was intoxicated. The deputies then searched the area and found the other two suspects.”
While searching the car, a gray 2007 Ford Focus, the deputies found several items that they determined had been stolen from unlocked vehicles in the surrounding neighborhood, Wickersham said. They recovered another GPS unit, several cellphones, an iPad, a loaded shotgun, a large flat-screen TV, a DVD player, several bottles of liquor and a marijuana pipe.
The four suspects — three adults under age 21 and one juvenile — were arrested. The three adult suspects were transported to Macomb County Jail, Wickersham said, while the juvenile suspect was turned over to his mother pending a juvenile petition proceeding.
Wickersham added that later that same day, at around 2 p.m., sheriff’s deputies were dispatched to a home on 23 Mile near Card on a reported breaking and entering. The homeowners told them that they had spent the night away from home, and when they returned, they discovered that someone had forcibly entered their house through a garage door. The deputies received a list of what had been stolen and immediately realized that the items were identical to some of those that had been recovered from the Ford Focus.
The three adult suspects — Zackory Bakeman, 20, of Clawson; Nathan Myers, 20, of New Baltimore; and Joshua LaBranche, 20, of Chesterfield Township — were charged with receiving and concealing stolen property, a five-year felony, and as minors in possession of alcohol. They were arraigned June 10 at 41-A District Court in Shelby Township by Magistrate Michael Osaer.
Osaer gave cash or surety bonds of $10,000 to Myers and LaBranche, and a $5,000 cash or surety bond to Bakeman. All three posted bond and were released. They are scheduled to appear in court again June 24 at 1:30 p.m. for a preliminary examination.
Wickersham noted that the juvenile, a 16-year-old from Macomb Township, would be facing identical charges in Macomb County Juvenile Court. In addition, he reported that all four suspects would soon be arraigned on an additional charge of home invasion in the second degree, a 15-year felony for the three adults.
Attorneys for two of the suspects could not be reached for comment, and a third attorney declined to comment.
“I don’t really know when they will be arraigned on the home invasion charges — that’s up to the court to decide,” he said. “We put the case together for the home invasion and presented it to the (Macomb County) Prosecutor’s Office after they had already posted bond. I’m sure they will both eventually be combined into the same case, though.”
The sheriff thanked the witness on the scene for her alert response to the situation. “Here is another example where a citizen became involved and shared her suspicions with our police agency,” Wickersham said. “This is a classic example of what can be accomplished when citizens and the police work together to solve problems.”
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