Sentimental jewelry stolen from Madison Heights woman

By: Andy Kozlowski | Madison - Park News | Published February 6, 2020

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MADISON HEIGHTS — Police in Madison Heights are searching for a man who allegedly approached a Madison Heights woman outside her home, stealing jewelry deeply meaningful to her — including the wedding band of her late husband.  

It was 6:40 a.m. Jan. 28 when the incident reportedly occurred in the 800 block of East Barrett Avenue. The victim, 49, had just returned home, having worked overnight. That’s when she spotted the man who would end up mugging her, lurking several houses down the street.

At first she didn’t think much of the individual, described as a black male standing about 5 feet, 10 inches tall and weighing 130 pounds. When he approached her, she got a closer look, and saw he was wearing a white face mask, a green hoodie and black pants.

The victim told police that the suspect made his move while she was retrieving items from inside her truck. She looked over at where he had been, and he was no longer there. Then she turned around and he was right behind her.

“The suspect never said anything to the victim and confronted her before the victim realized he was there,” said Madison Heights Police Lt. Michael Siladke. “The suspect grabbed the necklace and after a brief struggle, the suspect ran away on foot with the necklace.”

The suspect headed west on Barrett Avenue and then south on Tawas Street.

The necklace he stole is described as a 20-inch gold necklace. On the necklace were two items of sentimental value: a gold men’s wedding band that once belonged to the victim’s late husband, and her wedding ring with small diamonds and a star pattern. Her husband died in July.

“The detectives have pursued all possible investigative avenues, including talking to residents and checking the area for any video cameras that may have captured anything. The detectives are continuing to follow up,” Siladke said.

The lieutenant shared his thoughts on what to do in a confrontation with a would-be thief.

“Every situation is different, including how people perceive the threat,” Siladke said. “It is usually recommended that people comply with a suspect’s demands if a weapon or threat is presented to them. However, minus a weapon or any verbal threat or demand — like this situation — it is understandable that a self-defense mindset kicks in, and a victim reacts to defend themselves.”

He noted that the incident is highly unusual due to its brazen nature during the day. He also lamented the cruel nature of the crime.

“These stolen items are clearly personal items with deep meanings and attachments to the victim,” Siladke said. “It’s a tragedy that this occurred. And for this and all victims that we encounter, a thorough investigation is always conducted, with an effort in helping the victims move forward from a traumatizing event.”

Anyone with information that could lead to the suspect is asked to call the Madison Heights Police Department at (248) 585-2100.

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