Articles Posted in Theft and Property Crimes

After a 3-day jury trial, a Huron County Circuit Court jury returned a verdict of not guilty on a man charged with two felonies. The defendant, Travis M. Kosinski, was found not guilty of one county of breaking and entering a building with intent, and one count of malicious destruction of personal property. 68916_law_education_series_2-300x225

The charges stemmed from a June 2016 allegation, Konsinski was accused of doing thousands of dollars of damage to a 1974 24-foot Sea Ray boat that belonged to his relative. Peter Samouris of Grabel and Associates led Kosinski’s defense.

Samouris provided commentary on the trial when he said, “I’m glad that justice was served in Travis’s case. My client has always maintained his innocence-and as one of the jurors told me afterwards-he was wondering why it was even charged in the first place. Travis is delighted to put all of this behind him. Justice was served with this verdict.”

Alleged Corruption At Detroit Police Department

An ongoing investigation into the Detroit police department narcotics unit has turned up some serious problems within the unit. The investigation has looked into allegations of corruption and continues to investigate. The investigation has uncovered possible false affidavits that led to convictions. Because of these false affidavits, these convictions might be getting overturned and for some people, will mean their freedom. Investigators have also uncovered more alleged corruption in the forms of planting evidence, robbing drug dealers, and embezzling money. There have also been numerous instances where suspects were turned into confidential police informants without the proper approval. The team of investigators is comprised of Detroit police officers, Michigan state police troopers, and FBI agents. This 17-person investigation team is looking within a 10-year period of narcotics unit activity. It is estimated the investigation will be looking into as many as 10,000 police drug raids. This specific drug unit was disbanded in 2014 because of rampant internal problems in how evidence and drugs were handled. iStock_000009283153_Large-2-300x201

The Current Investigation

In the last 5 years, one crime that has become the center of controversy is that of Home Invasion. While the statute provides one aspect of the crime, the practicality of the statute has been up for debate in courtrooms across the state of Michigan. In reviewing the statute, we learn that Home Invasion in the First Degree states: 657836_forced_entry-300x224

A person who breaks and enters a dwelling with intent to commit a felony, larceny, or assault in the dwelling, a person who enters a dwelling without permission with intent to commit a felony, larceny, or assault in the dwelling, or a person who breaks and enters a dwelling or enters a dwelling without permission and, at any time while he or she is entering, present in, or exiting the dwelling, commits a felony, larceny, or assault is guilty of home invasion in the first degree if at any time while the person is entering, present in, or exiting the dwelling either of the following circumstances exists:

(a) The person is armed with a dangerous weapon.

Unfortunately, many people look at the potential misfortune others face as an opportunity to “loot” others’ possession, raise

hurricane irma approaching irma from NOAA

Courtesy NOAA National Weather Service National Hurricane Center/Handout

prices, and commit other crimes.  Given the harsh hurricane season and Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, those in the Houston areas and all across Florida may become the victims of looters and price gouging in addition to the other issues they face following the devastation often left behind.

Following Hurricane Harvey in the Houston area, officials were not going to make it easy for those who were considering breaking into homes or businesses for the purpose of stealing.  Lawmakers vowed zero tolerance for looters, and according to news reports arrested 14 individuals.  Other reports claimed that following the hurricane, nearly 100 firearms were stolen from stores in the area.   Continue reading

On Saturday, March 12, three gas stations were robbed in Michigan; one in Milan, one in Pittsfield Township, and one in Dundee. According to news reports, it seems that one man committed all three robberies. iStock_000061194544_XXXLarge-2-300x200

As of Wednesday police were still searching for the suspect, described as a white male wearing a hoodie pulled over his head, a black jacket, and white bandana over his face. He is believed to be 5′ 10″ to 6 feet tall.

The first robbery occurred just after 6 a.m. at the BP station in Dundee, where the suspect demanded cash but the station clerk drew a gun, causing the suspect to flee.

On Thursday January 7, a car that was left running in a driveway in Ypsilanti was stolen according to a news report at Mlive.com. Authorities say the car, a 2005 silver Chevrolet Impala, was at a residence in the 1000 block of Nash Avenue when the incident occurred. iStock_000011301900_Full-300x200

Two unknown suspects were last observed driving the vehicle north on Nash. The car is reported to have a dent in the front driver side quarter panel, and a paper plate in the rear window.

Just two days earlier, a woman left her vehicle running as she went inside a business in Ypsilanti; her vehicle was gone when she returned just 10 minutes later. This incident occurred in the 600 block of East Michigan Avenue. In this case, the vehicle stolen was a 2010 Ford Fusion, gray in color, with damage to the right side of the front bumper. Reports claim the bumper has duct tape on it.

Yesterday it was announced that Meridian Township Police were in search of a man who entered an apartment at The Lodges Apartments located near MSU’s campus. According to WILX-TV, the man is believed to have walked into an unlocked apartment while the woman who lived there was taking a shower. iStock_000024836642_XXXLarge-2-300x200

The incident occurred on Wednesday evening when the man entered the apartment and waited in the bedroom as the young woman showered. As he waited, the woman’s roommate came home; the suspect then ran off. Police are calling the man a “home invasion suspect,” and believe him to be a while male in his mid-twenties, about 5′ 10″ tall with a medium build and brown hair.

Lieutenant Greg Frenger said the police believe the man had been watching the woman and her apartment, and that he knew she would be alone when he entered. Frenger also believes the woman left the apartment door unlocked, a practice that is all too common in the apartment complex. A neighbor who lives across the hall from where the incident took place said that residents don’t always lock their doors, as many come in and out frequently. Frenger asked that residents be more cautious and aware, but particularly vigilant in locking their doors.

Recently, two men were arrested after they allegedly robbed a female clerk at the Country Store II in Geneva Township. According to a news report at Mlive.com, the woman was robbed at knifepoint on December 2. When the incident was over, she jotted down the license plate number of the suspects’ vehicle. iStock_000011602905_Large (2)

The robbery occurred at approximately 6 p.m. on Wednesday, when a man entered the store and demanded money from the 36-year-old clerk while wielding a knife. She was not harmed, but did give the man an undisclosed amount of cash before he left the store. She went out to the parking lot and wrote down the license plate of a car she thought was suspect.

After reporting the license plate number to police, officers from Midland and Coleman assisted in locating the two men who were involved, identified them, and arrested them. One of the suspects is a 37-year-old Mount Pleasant man, the other a 19-year-old Midland man. Police said the Bay County Sheriff’s Dept. assisted in arresting the Mount Pleasant man. Both were taken into custody; police have recommended they be charged with armed robbery.

On Tuesday, October 6, two men were allegedly shoplifting at a Home Depot in Auburn Hills when a customer who was permitted to carry a concealed firearm shot out a tire of the men’s getaway vehicle, a Kia SUV. While the woman had not been charged with a crime at the time of news reports, the two men had been taken into custody. According to Mlive.com, it is likely the men will be charged with first-degree felony retail fraud. iStock_000018331817_Full (2)

On Friday, October 9, Auburn Police Lt. Jill McDonnell announced the two were in custody. While the men were not named, it is known they are both from the Flint area, and are 52 and 46 years old. On Wednesday, police released surveillance video which helped them locate the getaway vehicle at the home of the 46-year-old suspect.

An updated news report at The Oakland Press revealed on October 13 that the 46-year-old woman who fired at the suspects’ vehicle in the parking lot, Tatiana Duva-Rodriguez, has now been arrested and charged with misdemeanor reckless use, handing, or discharge of a firearm. If found guilty, she could face a fine and/or up to 90 days in jail.

Recently, a man who employees believe was wearing a gas mask robbed a Little Caesars Pizza restaurant in north Lansing. According to news reports, the suspect pulled out a handgun and demanded money, which he was given. The incident occurred around 7 p.m. on Wednesday September 30. pizza-1327877

No one was injured in the armed robbery, and the suspect was believed to have fled the scene in a vehicle. At the time of news reports, the suspect was still at large. However, police say the man had some features that were distinguishing, including tattoos on the top of both of his hands. He is described as a black man in his 20’s, approximately 6′ tall and thinly built. At the time of the robbery, the suspect was wearing blue jeans and a dark colored zip-up hoodie.

Although the suspect had fled by the time police arrived on the scene, a K-9 tracking team was brought in in an effort to track down the suspect, to no avail. Lansing police Public Information Officer Robert Merritt said the same Little Caesars location was robbed in March, however they do not believe the two incidents are related.

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