Suspected serial burglar arrested in West Bloomfield after 22 Michigan potential break-ins
Police believe a drug addiction may have driven the man to steal
OAKLAND COUNTY, Mich. – Officials from multiple police departments said that they have captured a prolific burglar who was wanted in connection with 22 break-ins.
According to authorities, a photo of the suspect visiting one of the burglarized businesses was brought to the police's attention shortly after a silver colored van was discovered in the surveillance footage of one of the break-ins.
He was arrested at The Tantrum Salon on M-59 in White Lake Township after a lengthy investigation. Police had followed the man to the salon where they witnessed the break-in, according to authorities.
The list of businesses broken into since Monday include Discount Tire, Marshall Music, The English Tea Garden and The El Nibble Nook restaurant -- all of which are located along Haggerty Road in West Bloomfield.
"He was a one-man show," West Bloomfield Police Chief Curt Lawson said. "He'd show up in his van, he would try to pry the back door, or if he couldn't get in, he'd throw a rock right through the front window. He'd try to go in and get cash or whatever was available to him."
West Bloomfield investigators reached out to other Oakland County police departments about businesses that had been robbed using similar methods. The list of burglaries believed to be connected grew by 18.
Together, police were able to identify the man as a South Lyon resident who police believe was committing the robberies to feed a drug habit.
Police watched the man, eventually following him to Tantrum Salon, where he used a brick to smash a window to get inside, authorities said.
"I don't keep cash here, but last night, I mistakenly did," salon owner Anne-Marie Wolfenbarger said. "But when he stepped outside with it, the police were there waiting for him."
White Lake police arrested the man and took him into custody. Wolfenbarger said she didn't know how much money she had in the deposit bag that she mistakenly left behind and is relieved that she got the money back.
West Bloomfield police said they will bring their findings to the Oakland County Prosecutor's Office and believe breaking and entering charges are coming.
It's expected that the suspect will be arraigned Friday.
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