Two Lansing men, 19-year-old Timothy Schmitke and 27-year-old Richard Edwards are facing felony charges after allegedly being caught by police as they were attempting to steal items from an auto salvage yard. Lansing District Judge Louise Alderson arraigned the two men on charges of larceny $1,000 or more but less than $20,000.
The alleged crime occurred at Lansing One Stop Automotive, located at 209 Baker Street. According to news reports, police were dispatched to the location at approximately 12:20 a.m. Officers were called to the scene after witnesses saw the two men get out of a vehicle and proceed to enter the yard by crawling under a fence. Upon their arrival, police allegedly found Edwards and Schmitke exiting the yard; the two were arrested without incident.
News reports claim that approximately 40 items belonging to the yard were found by police in and around the vehicle Schmitke and Edwards were driving. According to police, all items were returned to the business owner.
Judge Alderson set bond for the two men; Edwards bond at 10% of $15,000 and Schmitke’s at 10% of $10,000. The two men were scheduled for a pretrial conference on Monday, September 17 before Lansing District Judge Frank DeLuca. DeLuca will also preside over the preliminary examination scheduled for September 20.
In the state of Michigan, the majority of crimes involving theft are considered larceny, which can be charged as a misdemeanor or felony depending on the circumstances and value of property/money stolen. Michigan criminal defense attorneys know that the penalties those convicted on charges of larceny face can be harsh.
Felony charges for theft of property/money worth more than $1,000 but less than $20,000 can mean 5 years in prison along with fines of up to 3 times the value of the property or $10,000, whichever is greater.
If you have been charged with larceny or any theft offense, it is critical that you seek legal support and guidance from an experienced Michigan criminal defense lawyer who will work to protect you from harsh punishment.