Early on Wednesday August 29th, a Parts Plus Auto Store located at 3023 N. East Street was the scene of a burglary which took place around 3 a.m. According to Capt. Daryl Green of the Lansing Police Department, officers were dispatched after the alarm was activated at the store. When they arrived at the store, the front glass entrance door was shattered. The business owner believes that the suspect threw a brick through the glass front door to gain access to the store, according to news reports.
Police also found flames shooting from a semi-trailer parked on the north side of the Parts Plus store upon their arrival, and called in the Lansing Fire Department according to Green. The blaze was quickly extinguished, but arson is suspected and police will continue to investigate.
After inspection of the store, police called a representative in to determine what property had been taken. The business owner did believe that an undisclosed amount of money had been stolen from the cash register, but did not believe other merchandise had been taken.
The semi-trailer which was on fire belonged to Campus Cars Auto Sales, a business located next door to the Parts Plus Store. It was uncertain at the time of the burglary whether the two crimes were related.
Eyewitnesses who were in the area at the time of the burglary reported to police that they saw someone who was wearing a white hooded sweatshirt and light colored pants leave the area prior to the arrival of police. They said the person left the area on a bicycle. Anyone with further information about the crime are being asked to call the Crime Stoppers line at 517-483-STOP.
Michigan criminal defense lawyers know the seriousness of crimes such as burglary and arson, and how a conviction can negatively impact an individual’s life. A criminal record will make obtaining employment difficult; no one wants to live his or her life in prison. While it is not yet known if one individual committed both of these crimes, he or she could be facing serious penalties if found guilty for either offense, or both.
In this situation it may have been malicious arson, an offense that brings severe penalties to those convicted regardless of whether the intention was to harm others. Perhaps in the coming days we will learn the identity of the burglary suspect, and if that individual will also be charged with arson.
If you have been arrested for a criminal offense, no matter how minor or serious you believe it to be it is critical that you contact a capable Michigan criminal defense attorney immediately.