Police arrest suspect in Grosse Pointe home invasions

Grosse Pointe Farms Public Safety says suspect confessed to majority of recent break ins in Grosse Pointes, St. Clair Shores area

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Police in Grosse Pointe and Grosse Pointe Park said they have arrested a man in connection with a series of home invasions.

All of the break-ins happened over the last couple of weeks during the middle of the day.

The Grosse Pointe Farms Public Safety Department said they arrested Rudy Vandenbroeck, 21, at his residence in Eastpointe.

Investigators said the accsued burglar was knocking on doors offering to power wash a person's home or to offer services as a painter. If a homeowner didn't answer, police said the man tried to find a way to get inside the home.
"That's very upsetting," said Heather Flowers,who lives in Grosse Pointe Farms.

Flowers is raising four children in Grosse Pointe Farms and is disturbed by news of the daytime burglaries.

"That is very obviously concerning to me as a homeowner, and as a parent of kids in the area," said Flowers.

Police said often times the burglar was scared off by a homeowner, but in one case, he got away with $30,000 in jewelry.

Police said the master bedroom and the jewelry box inside it are the first places a crook will go once inside a home.

"I think it's just a lesson for everyone that you have to be very very careful," said Lisa Vallee-Smith of Grosse Pointe Farms.

Other neighbors agree.

"I'm about a block from the police station, and I really have not been fearful in that area, but you never know what may happen," said Patricia Ott of Grosse Pointe.

Daytime burglaries can happen anywhere. That's why it is so important for homeowners to protect their home by doing the following:

  • Keep all their windows and doors locked, including the door inside the garage.
  • Walk around the home and pinpoint places that could be easy entry-ways for thieves
  • Cut all overgrown shrubs that could shield a thief
  • Hide the jewelry box and other valuables
  • Consider setting up a neighborhood watch

"I do keep everything locked," said Ott.

"I have two big German shepherds, and so I'm hoping that that will, you know, deter some people," said Flowers.

In Grosse Pointe Farms and Grosse Pointe, soliciting is illegal. Police said if someone comes knocking on a homeowner's door, they should call police immediately, don't wait.

In cities where soliciting is legal, those people should have a permit.

Police credited the public for help in solving this case.  Grosse Pointe Farms Public Safety said help of citizens tips and Vandenbroeck's family helped them solve this investigation.

Police said Vandenbroeck confessed to the majority of recent home invasions in Grosse Pointe Farms, Grosse Pointe City and St. Clair Shores.

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