Sterling HeightsMay 1, 2013
Police catch suspects tied to burglaries
By Eric Czarnik
C & G Staff Writer
Three suspects who are accused of burglarizing Macomb County businesses and/or churches were captured April 22, Shelby Township Police said.
At an April 23 press conference, Shelby Township Police Chief Roland Woelkers announced that police arrested Jesse Brusseau-Meray, 20, of Riley Township; Logan Gerring, 17, of Sterling Heights; and Eric Eby, 19, of Shelby Township.
Police say the suspects broke into multiple places — including businesses and three churches — in Shelby Township and other Macomb County communities, starting in 2012.
Despite the suspects’ young ages, the chief said they “have done a lot of damage” and were capable of working together on “smash and grabs” and safe jobs.
“They are sophisticated individuals,” Woelkers said.
Police made the arrests shortly after responding to an alarm at around 1 a.m. April 22. Police arrived at a Speedway gas station in the 11000 block of 23 Mile Road and reportedly discovered a break-in.
According to police, they caught Eby at the gas station and then captured Brusseau-Meray at about 3 a.m. at a nearby golf course. At around 7 a.m., Gerring was reportedly escorted to the police station by a relative. Police said none of the suspects offered resistance.
As part of the crimes, police say, the men allegedly swiped tactical flashlights, badges and handcuffs from a Shelby Township police equipment store. Police blame some of the suspects for thefts at three churches, including St. Therese of Lisieux Parish in Shelby Township. The other reported break-ins occurred at St. Luke Lutheran Church in Clinton Township and St. Lawrence Catholic Church in Utica.
The Rev. Lawrence Zurawski from St. Therese of Lisieux said thieves recently stole his church’s collection of Easter donations, which were estimated at $40,000 to $50,000 in cash and checks.
He recalled the terrible feeling of violation that came when he observed his church’s broken door glass and a safe with a big hole in it. He also asked for the return of a chalice, though police say the suspects have denied taking any.
“I just hope they give the things back and don’t do it again,” Zurawski said. “As they said on ‘Dragnet,’ crime doesn’t pay.”
Shelby Police Detective Lt. Thomas Kohl called the suspects an “established crew” who carefully devised plans, but the church angle to the burglaries caught his attention.
“All crimes are serious in nature,” he said. “But when you victimize a church, yeah, it’s definitely an incentive.”
Following the suspects’ arrests, police executed search warrants at a Sterling Heights residence, a Shelby residence and a Shelby storage unit. Kohl said they have recovered some stolen goods, including church donation envelopes and around $6,000 in cash. They have not recovered any chalices.
The three suspects were arraigned in 41-A District Court in Shelby Township April 23. According to the court, all three were charged with breaking and entering and possessing burglary tools. In addition, Gerring and Eby each face a weapons charge, the court said. The suspects will next appear in court May 7.
Shelby Township Supervisor Richard Stathakis praised the arrests.
“I appreciate the great investment from multiple departments and multiple jurisdictions,” he said. “I think when you have three people on the streets that are willing to rob churches, it’s always nice when we’re able to get these bad guys off the streets.”
Eby’s attorney, Richard Marcil, said he has met with his client and said that the April 23 arraignment’s charges only deal with the alleged Speedway incident, and more charges for other accusations could be coming soon.
Marcil called Eby a nice young man who has “a little bit of a troubled past and a history for such a young person.” The attorney added that Eby’s parents are very supportive of their son, but they were not aware that anything improper was allegedly going on.
“These are all allegations, obviously — we have to see what they can prove or show,” Marcil added. Attorneys for the other suspects could not be reached by press time.
Anyone who has more information on these incidents may call the Shelby Township Police Department at (586) 731-2121.