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Birmingham police make arrest in burglary cold case

By: Tiffany Esshaki | Birmingham - Bloomfield Eagle | Published January 21, 2019


BIRMINGHAM — After nearly 2 1/2 years, the victims of a June 2016 home invasion probably moved on with their lives, even if they never recovered their large-screen television or hardwood floor scrubber.

But the Birmingham Police Department didn’t.

At the end of 2018, the investigators’ diligence paid off when they were able to move on newly acquired information and apprehend the suspect believed to be responsible.

Ryan Brown, a 34-year-old Waterford Township man, was charged in connection with a home invasion that took place June 25, 2016, in the 300 block of Greenwood Street. Residents reported a 74-inch TV stolen, along with a Bona wood floor scrubber.

According to Detective Chris Busen, the delay in the case was attributed to an erroneous serial number on the wood scrubber, which made it tough to track down.

“We didn’t have that correct information at first, and we didn’t get the correct one until a few weeks ago,” he explained.

The winning number combo was revealed when the scrubber was put up for sale online, and a contractor familiar with the case spotted the item.

“Apparently, the hardwood floor cleaning industry is a close-knit community. One of the guys, who’s friends with the owner, saw (the floor scrubber) listed on Facebook Marketplace being sold at a pawn shop in Waterford. So he called the guy it was stolen from, and sure enough, that was it,” Busen said.

Brown, who was arraigned in front of Judge Diane D’Agostini in the 48th District Court Dec. 20, now faces second-degree home invasion charges that carry the possibility of up to 15 years in prison, along with a $3,000 fine. As far as motive, Busen said the suspect suffered from a substance abuse issue at the time the crime was committed. He’s expected to be back in court for a preliminary exam Feb. 5.

Brown’s attorney, Jeremy Jones, declined to comment on the charges.

Busen had some thoughts, though, and they can pretty much be summed up as “better late than never.”

“We pride ourselves in working with new information as it becomes available. We always try to go back and solve that cold case for our citizens,” he said.