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Sterling Heights

May 17, 2013

Two church burglary suspects due back in court in June

By Eric Czarnik
C & G Staff Writer

Two burglary suspects apprehended by Shelby Township police in late April will be returning to court in June in connection to an alleged church burglary, police said.

Logan Gerring, 17, of Sterling Heights, and Eric Eby, 19, of Shelby Township, are due back in the 41-A District Court in Shelby Township June 6, according to the court.

Police have sought suspects for thefts at three churches that have occurred over the past few months. Those churches are St. Therese of Lisieux Parish in Shelby Township, St. Luke Lutheran Church in Clinton Township and St. Lawrence Catholic Church in Utica.

At an April 23 press conference, Shelby Township police said they caught Eby, Gerring and a third suspect within hours after a reported April 22 break-in of a Speedway gas station in Shelby Township. The last suspect was identified as Jesse Brusseau-Meray, 20, of Riley Township.

In connection with the gas station incident, the suspects were charged April 23 with breaking and entering and possessing burglary tools. In addition, Gerring and Eby each had a weapons charge, according to the court.

At the press conference, police also brought up the alleged theft of church donations, including $40,000 to $50,000 in Easter donations from St. Therese of Lisieux. Police added that they recovered some of the money in searches conducted after the arrests.

In connection with the St. Therese of Lisieux incident, the district court said both Gerring and Eby are also charged with safe breaking, breaking and entering a building with intent, and possession of burglar tools. Eby was also charged with receiving and concealing stolen property between $200 and $1,000, the court said.

Brusseau-Meray has not been charged with any involvement in the church burglaries, according to the 41-A District Court.

Brusseau-Meray’s attorney, Nijad Mehanna, said his client’s charges only dealt with the Speedway incident, and his case was bound for Macomb County Circuit Court May 20. Mehanna said his client is innocent of those charges.

The lawyer added that the announcements linking Brusseau-Meray to the church burglaries and the subsequent media coverage unfairly blemished his reputation.

“In reality, he had nothing to do with that,” he said. “And the media, as usual, was quick to try him and convict him.”

Eby’s attorney, Thomas Tomko, declined to comment on the case, citing attorney-client privilege. Gerring’s attorney, Shawn Patrick Smith, could not be reached by press time.

Shelby Police Chief Roland Woelkers said he couldn’t comment on the current charges but said more might be coming. “The prosecutor is reveiwing more charges with these three individuals regarding break-ins of businesses in our township,” he said.

You can reach C & G Staff Writer Eric Czarnik at eczarnik@candgnews.com or at (586)498-1058.