Suspects Caught Breaking Into Foreclosed Home

By: Sherene Tagharobi Email
By: Sherene Tagharobi Email

That for sale sign on the house in your neighborhood may be an open invitation for thieves.

Two suspects are in custody tonight after a mid-Michigan man reports suspicious activity in his Delhi Township neighborhood.

The suspects are the latest in a string of robbers breaking into foreclosed homes.

Gale Crandall has been living in this Delhi house for four years -- long enough that he knows when something's not right across the street.

"I seen the guy sitting out here in his pickup truck, thought it was kinda funny that he's parked down here, there's a guy down there trying to get in the front door, didn't look like he had the keys," Crandall said.

Crandall called 9-1-1 and Ingham County Sheriff's Delhi Division officers responded. They caught the first suspect driving down the road. A deputy then chased the second for about ten minutes on foot before finding him in a shed a block and a half away. It turns out the duplex these suspects broke into had been foreclosed on and was vacant. So what could they possibly be after?

"They're cutting water pipes made from copper and they turn them in to scrap yards for cash," said Sgt. Danielle Patrick.

Patrick says from the looks of their pickup, this isn't the first time they've struck.

"They think no one lives there, they won't encounter anybody, so they can quickly commit their crimes, cut the pipes, load it up and move on to the next location," she said.

Patrick says they may be using a GPS sytem found in their car to navigate to other foreclosed homes.

"We hope it'll reveal other adresses where there may be other potential victims," she said.

She's also hopeful someone will recognize a box of football cards found in back of their pickup. She says it's a good thing Crandall called because the crime could have gone unreported. Crandall says he and his neighbors look out for each other.

"The economy, like I say, people out othere need the money and they'll do anything to get it," he said.

For now he's just glad the suspects were caught.

Lieutenant Michael DeBruin says because Delhi Township contracts with the sheriff's office, they maintain decent staffing levels there and are still able to respond to these types of calls.

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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by James on Feb 3, 2011 at 08:20 AM
    If the police are smart they will check records. Career criminals who never end up with any time.
  • by Gary on Jan 25, 2011 at 09:12 PM
    Who paid off WILX to make the last statement in the story?
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