Grosse Pointe FarmsJune 17, 2013
Suspect linked to series of Farms home invasions in 2012, 2013
By K. Michelle Moran
C & G Staff Writer
Police say a would-be handyman was actually helping himself to the valuables of trusting residents who hired him to wash their windows or perform other odd jobs.
And he could have the bucket he carried with him to blame for his identification and subsequent arrest by police.
The 45-year-old Detroit man, who was on parole at the time of his arrest last week, is facing multiple new charges and is believed to be responsible for at least seven larcenies in the Farms since last year in an area between Chalfonte and Mack, Detective Lt. Richard Rosati said.
Rosati said the suspect went door-to-door offering his services as a window washer. At the home of one of his victims last year, on Chalfonte, the suspect is said to have accidentally left his bucket behind, along with paperwork that included his name, address and Social Security number. The victim didn’t realize the bucket belonged to the suspect at first, but he and investigators finally made that connection.
According to a Farms Municipal Court official at press time, the suspect was slated to be arraigned on four charges at 3 p.m. June 18 in front of Municipal Court Judge Matthew Rumora. Those charges are: home invasion first degree, larceny of $1,000 or more but less than $20,000, and two counts of weapons/firearms possession by a felon. First-degree home invasion carries a possible penalty of 20 years in prison or a $5,000 fine or both, while the larceny charge carries a potential sentence of five years in prison, a $10,000 fine or both. Each weapons charge carries a prison sentence of up to five years, a $5,000 fine or both.
Rosati said the suspect “has a long criminal record” with previous convictions for larceny and dangerous drugs. His most recent conviction, in 2012, was for breaking and entering with the intention of committing a larceny in Detroit, for which he received a 10-month sentence and was apparently released early, Rosati said.
The suspect is said to have struck again this spring, allegedly stealing bicycles, guns, jewelry and other items from homes in the 400 blocks of Bournemouth and Barclay. Rosati said once police had the suspect’s name, they were able to track down some of the recently stolen items to a pair of pawnshops in Detroit, where the suspect had reportedly dropped off these items in his name. Fingerprints lifted last week off of a stolen jewelry box were a match to the suspect, Rosati said.
“We have quite a bit (of evidence) now,” he said.
Unfortunately, police have thus far not been able to recover items the suspect is said to have stolen last year.
Rosati said one of the saddest elements of this case is that the victims were all people who hired the suspect after he knocked on their doors. In many instances, he said residents felt sorry for the man and agreed to pay him for odd jobs.
“I’m definitely thrilled that he was caught,” said Rosati, who arrested the suspect at the home of the suspect’s mother in Detroit June 10, after the suspect failed to show up for a meeting he had set up with Rosati. “He really hit us hard. People like that destroy (the spirit of) charity.”
The suspect was being held at a Michigan Department of Corrections parole facility in Detroit awaiting his arraignment.
At press time, the suspect did not have an attorney representing him. It was not known whether he would be seeking court-appointed counsel at his arraignment.
Rosati said police planned to send out a report to police departments in Harper Woods, St. Clair Shores and the other Grosse Pointes to see if the suspect could have been involved in larcenies in any of those communities. He said the suspect “has quite a bit of pawn activity,” leading police to believe that he may have stolen items from homes in other cities.