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Grosse Pointe City

September 10, 2012

Suspects arrested in jewelry heist at City home

By K. Michelle Moran
C & G Staff Writer

He’s only 19, but Matthew Sedgeman, of Detroit, could be spending the rest of his life behind bars.

Law enforcement officials say the teen — who was arraigned on charges of larceny of $20,000 or more and second-degree home invasion Sept. 7 in front of Municipal Court Judge Russell Ethridge — could receive a life sentence if convicted, because he’s also facing a charge of being a habitual offender.

Sedgeman was arrested during a raid at a home on Detroit’s east side the night of Sept. 4, Public Safety Director Stephen Poloni said. He’s one of several suspects who’ve been arrested and charged in connection with breaking and entering into a home in the 300 block of Lincoln Sept. 3, stealing an estimated $500,000 in fine jewelry and a video game system, and then attempting to pawn the items for quick cash.

Poloni said two of the suspects broke into the home through a window while the residents were on vacation. A caretaker for the home noticed the break-in and contacted police, he said.

Sedgeman’s brother, Joshua Anthony Sedgeman, 20, of Detroit, and Joshua Sedgeman’s reported girlfriend, Alaina Renee Robinson, 26, of Detroit, were arraigned Sept. 6 in front of Ethridge on charges of receiving and concealing stolen property in excess of $20,000. Poloni said Joshua Sedgeman allegedly went to pawn shops in the Grosse Pointe area and Eastpointe and sold some of the jewelry; he was arrested while cashing a check issued by one of these shops. He has a previous record for possession of stolen property and possession of marijuana, both from 2010, Poloni said.

He said Robinson, a mother of three, has no prior criminal history and has been cooperating with police. She was arrested at the bank with Joshua Sedgeman, and was released on a $50,000 personal bond.

Ethridge said Matthew Sedgeman has at least three prior felony convictions, including larceny in a building, second-degree home invasion and breaking and entering. The latest second-degree home invasion charge comes with a possible 15-year prison sentence or $3,000 fine, or both, while the larceny of $20,000 or more carries a possible sentence of 10 years in prison or a $50,000 fine, or both, he said. However, as a fourth-degree habitual offender, Ethridge said Matthew Sedgeman could be sentenced to life in prison.

Matthew Sedgeman told the judge he was living with his father, a tow truck operator, and assisting him.

“Your honor, I’m just trying to get back to work,” he said.

Ethridge, however, said his primary concern was “the safety of the community” if Matthew Sedgeman was out on the streets.

“There has been a repeated pattern of criminal conduct,” the judge told him.

Police have already recovered several pieces of jewelry, including a broach worth $27,000, Poloni said. While searching for the suspects and stolen merchandise, he said the Special Response Team of the Grosse Pointes and Harper Woods — their equivalent of a Special Weapons and Tactics, or SWAT, team — conducted raids on homes in Detroit and Harper Woods.

Poloni said they hope to recover additional stolen items as they continue to work on the case. He praised the work of City Detectives C.J. Lee and Al Gwyn, as well as other officers in the City and neighboring departments.

“Detectives Lee and Gwyn did an excellent job in getting a handle on (the case) quickly,” Poloni said. “It was also a team effort with the rest of the department.”

At press time, a 20-year-old Detroit man believed to have been Matthew Sedgeman’s accomplice in the breaking and entering had been arrested late Sept. 6 in Detroit, but hadn’t yet been charged, Poloni said. He said police were also continuing their investigation, and other suspects might be arrested in connection with this incident.

Robinson and the Sedgeman brothers are scheduled to appear before Ethridge for a preliminary examination at 9:30 a.m. Sept. 20. At press time, Joshua Sedgeman was being held in the Wayne County Jail on a $50,000 bond or 10-percent surety. Because he was deemed a possible flight risk and a greater danger to the community, given his criminal history, Ethridge set bond for Matthew Sedgeman at $500,000 cash or surety. The younger Sedgeman was also being held at the Wayne County Jail. He could be released if he posted $50,000 cash — 10 percent — but Gwyn said one condition of that release would be that he’d have to be outfitted with a GPS tether.

Anyone with more information about this incident can call City detectives at (313) 886-3200.
 

You can reach C & G Staff Writer K. Michelle Moran at kmoran@candgnews.com or at (586)498-1047.