Police nab suspected burglar: Social media blitz leads to arrest

Manistee Police distributed this photo Friday morning and asked the public for help identifying the man in it, who is thought to have stolen property from a number of vehicles in Manistee early Thursday morning. A tip led to his arrest Friday afternoon. (Courtesy Photo)

MANISTEE — Friday morning Manistee city police circulated photos and surveillance video asking the public to help identify an individual suspected of breaking into vehicles; and by that afternoon they had taken the man into custody and impounded the automobile.

“There’s not much to say right now,” said David Bachman, City of Manistee public service director. “We have the suspect in custody, and we’re interviewing him. We also have the car. We haven’t identified the second suspect yet, but we’ll have more information on Monday once warrants are pursued and the paperwork is done.”

Bachman said a tip from the social media blitz led police to the suspect and his vehicle. He added that Little River Band of Ottawa Indians Tribal Police assisted Manistee City Police with the arrest of the suspect.

According to city police officer John Fraass, the suspect used credit cards stolen early Thursday morning to purchase premium gasoline at the Cypress Street Wesco convenience store and then breakfast at McDonald’s. Police distributed video footage from both businesses in an attempt to identify the vehicle, driver and a passenger.

Fraass said that between 2 and 6 a.m. on Thursday the two suspects entered 13 unlocked vehicles on Dunes Drive.

“Over $600 in cash was stolen along with credit cards and other personal property,” Fraass said. “We recovered about 80 percent of the personal property at the North Beach Access Park, where it was thrown into the sand and tall grass, but still missing is the cash and credit cards. One of the victims notified us that the bank came back and said there were two charges on a credit card that was canceled — at McDonald’s and Wesco.”

The gasoline was purchased at 5:30 a.m. and breakfast at 6:30 a.m. The video shows that the vehicle driven by the suspect is a 1998, 1999 or 2000 Pontiac Grand Prix GPT with black rims, black-tinted rear window and black tinted tail lights.

Fraass said police believe the suspects may also be involved in vehicle thefts four days earlier in a neighborhood on Manistee’s north side.

Citizens with additional information or wishing to report suspicious activity should call 9-1-1 or Manistee County Central Dispatch at (231) 723-6241. Information can also be emailed to David Bachman, Manistee public service director, at dbachman@manisteemi.gov and he can be reached at (231) 398-2810.

Citizens also are encouraged to keep their homes, vehicles, garages, outdoor sheds and similar places locked. Anyone with information on crimes can also call Lakeshore Silent Observer at (888) 786-7274.


Posted by Dave Yarnell

Dave was formerly the News Advocate features writer and retired in November 2013.

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