By Scott Bolthouse—Hub Editor
Two men were arrested Feb. 14 after Huron Township Police caught them red-handed as they stole five dirt bikes from a home in the 19100 block of Merriman Road.
It all started at about 5 a.m. when a call came into Huron dispatch reporting a suspicious vehicle in the area of Merriman Road, said Everette Robbins, director of public safety.
When police arrived, they found Detroit resident James Kerr, 28, hiding behind a tree, with a stolen dirt bike laying on the ground about 10 feet away.
Officers then found a Buick, belonging to one of the thieves, parked about 25 yards northeast with a dirt bike hanging out of its trunk.
K-9 units from Huron Township and Trenton Police Department responded and assisted with a search of the area for more suspects, as well as evidence.
The K-9 track led to the recovery of three more dirt bikes in the wood line approximately 75 yards east of the Buick.
As officers continued to search the area, a second suspected, Ecorse resident Brandon Mullins, 25, was located in the wood line near Sibley and Middlebelt Road.
Mullins was dressed in all black clothing, and forensic evidence collected at the scene by the evidence technician unit was matched to him.
“This arrest was the result of a resident being vigilant and calling the police to report something that looked out of place. I am thankful that the resident took the time to report what did not look right to them, it is the true meaning of community partnerships,” Robbins said.
Police were able to locate the homeowner that owned the five dirt bikes and returned them to him.
A second home in the area was also broken into during the same time frame. Multiple tools and a dirt bike were taken from that home that were not recovered.
The investigation is ongoing, Robbins said, as police believe that the men made multiple trips to the area throughout the nighttime hours.
“Something that really stands out in this case is the great work of our Evidence Technician Unit. This is a dedicated group of officers who volunteer to be called in from home if needed for an investigation. In this case, they responded and collected immediate on-scene forensic evidence that was matched to a suspect walking in the woods just minutes after their arrival. Without that immediate evidence, we may have not been able to immediately match our second suspect to the crime scene. Their importance to our department and community cannot be overstated; I appreciate their expertise and efforts,” Robbins said.
Robbins said that both men are allegedly responsible for several other break-ins that have occurred in the area as of late.
“We believe that this group is responsible for several breaking and entering cases that have victimized our residents. Hopefully they will receive the justice they deserve and it will serve notice to thieves that our community and police department work well together to make this a safer place to live.”
Both were arraigned in court and charged with breaking and entering, a ten year felony, receiving and concealing stolen property, a five year felony, and larceny from a building, a four year felony.
Both also received habitual offender second offense notices and are being held in the Wayne County Jail on $20,000 bonds.
“I want to once again remind our residents that, unfortunately, incidents like this occur no matter where you live. Our crime statistics are much lower than most areas because of the valuable combination of vigilant residents and a determined group of hard working police officers and detectives. We appreciate the community’s patience and support when incidents like these arise as well as their confidence in us that we will use every resource we can to bring people that victimize our residents to justice,” Robbins said.
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