Man accused of using obituaries to steal from homeowner

By: Mary Beth Almond | Birmingham-Bloomfield Eagle | Published April 22, 2024

 Jerry Ryan Ashley

Jerry Ryan Ashley


BLOOMFIELD TOWNSHIP — A Detroit man was recently charged with breaking into the home of a deceased Bloomfield Township homeowner and stealing personal items.

Jerry Ryan Ashley, 44, was arraigned April 12 in 48th District Court on charges of breaking and entering a building with intent, a felony. His bond was set at $250,000.

The Bloomfield Township Police Department was dispatched to the 5500 block of Raven Road for a home invasion Feb. 28.

The reporting party told police the homeowner had passed away Feb. 15, but between Feb. 19 and 27, his home was broken into, and several personal items and cash were stolen from the home.

On Feb. 29, a Grosse Pointe Woods Public Safety Detective contacted the Bloomfield Township Police Department and said they had taken Ashley into custody for home invasions in the area.

While searching Ashley’s home in Detroit, Grosse Pointe Woods police recovered several items — including a Presidential Task Force Coin and a letter addressed to the Bloomfield Township homeowner.

Ashley reportedly told police he was recently searching obituaries, saw the victim had passed away, broke into the home and stole items “to support his drug habit,” according to police. Police said he had done yard work for the victim a year ago.

Ashley is still in custody for the Grosse Pointe Woods home invasions, according to police. He did not have an attorney on file at press time.