Thursday, July 30, 2009
By SIMON SHAYKHETFOX 2 News
DETROIT (WJBK) - A Detroit man fears for his mother's safety after suspected gang members break in and trash her home.
"This is the one place you're supposed to feel safe. That's supposed to be secure," said Marcel Sewell. "They just crept through the window like it was nothing."
Paint splattered on the floor. Graffiti all over the walls and a TV stand missing a television. That's the calling card of a group of suspected gang members who signed "7 Mile".
"They don't care. There's no feeling there. There's no compassion. There's no understanding," Sewell said.
They terrorized the Detroit woman's home while she was gone over the weekend. Her son agreed to talk with FOX 2 because his mother is just too shook up. He says the punks make mom want to leave the city she's called home for nearly 30 years.
"We worked hard for what we have in here. It wasn't given to us. You had to get up and go to work for that," said Sewell.
Detroit Police are now monitoring the house and following up on leads. In the meantime, Sewell, who grew up here near Seven Mile Road, has already moved back in to make sure his mother is safe.
Sewell tells FOX 2 that he refuses to fear the streets where he grew up. However, there's no question things have changed. "It takes a village to raise a child," he said. "These children are raising themselves now."
Despite the new locks, more had to be done. So, the Problem Solvers reached out for help and the called was answered.
"We felt we had to get involved," said Karen Majeske of Guardian Alarm Company.
Guardian Alarm was so appalled by what happened, they are now donating a state of the art alarm system. That way, the family will have their peace of mind back and know they're secure 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
"She just kept thanking me over and over and said that she's been in her home since 1980 and she doesn't want to leave," said Majeske. "She will feel so safe with that alarm system in the home protecting her."
"So when she goes into work and comes home, she knows she has some place that's not going to be violated," Sewell said.
To watch the video click the link:
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
CALHOUN COUNTY, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - Two West Michigan businesses hit hard by burglars are now left to try and pick up the pieces.
Investigators in Calhoun County are looking into robberies at a car dealership in Marshall Township, and an auto parts store in Tekonsha where thousands of dollars worth of merchandise was stolen.
Business owners are still figuring ouit what was stolen this weekend from two robberies that occurred in Calhoun County.
As of right now the figures are staggering. We're talking about over $250,000 stolen from two businesses during this recent crime spree.
"They completely devastated every tool in our shop," said the Courtesy Car and Truck owner, Jim Swain.
He figures late Saturday afternoon the thieves walked in to his business after hours and literally cleaned him out. They got away with tools, paint brushes, hammers, and even raiding an assortment of batteries. While the shelves sit empty so does a nearby parking space. Officials believe the culprits loaded the company car with stolen goods and used it as a get a way vehicle. It was later found burnt to a crisp in Detroit.
"Its hard to believe that a little town of 900 people and someone from Detroit would come down and invade us," said Swain.
Just a few weeks earlier he may have conducted business with the thieves. Swain says he thinks they where in the area looking around to see what businesses may lack security. He says they travelled some 60 miles just to come to his shop and that raised some red flags.
"It stuck out like a soar thumb. A person doesn't need to travel that far to have tires balanced. I think we have some blind spots and they figured that out," said Swain.
But the crime spree doesn't stop there. About ten miles up the road a similar situation at Bosear Ford in Marshall.
Nearly $100,000 of tools were stolen out of the service garage and a Ford Fusion driven right off the lot. Just a short time ago, that car was also found in the Motor City, charred.
Captain Matt Saxton of the Calhoun County Sheriff's Department tells Newschannel 3 both businesses were just a stone's throw away from the interstate and their locations may have made them easy targets.
"Some of the incidents that we know have been close to the state truck lines or highways," said Captain Saxton.
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
Change the locks - Because you’ll never know who else has a key to the doors of your new house.
Install a good home security system – Cut your premiums by installing alarm systems preferred by your insurance company.
Time-switch lights – Give the impression that you are at home– even when you’re not– and keep burglars away.
If you are away – Cancel regular deliveries and ask a trusted neighbor to retrieve your mail.
Keys – Be more creative in hiding them; don’t be too obvious (read: under the flower pot beside the door).
Install security lighting – Keep your welcome visitors safe and the unwelcome ones at bay.
Join a neighborhood watch campaign – Reduce your premium by up to 5% through semi-passive participation. But if you can participate actively to keep your neighborhood safe, why not?
Avoid frozen and burst pipes – Lessen the water that can escape by turning off the water valve and header tank if you think you’ve got frozen pipes.
Look out for subsidence – This common problem is also usually covered in insurance policies.
Fire – Set-up smoke alarms and observe fire safety measures.
Don’t smoke – Risk for fires is increased with cigarettes. Quit before your insurance company asks.
Increase your voluntary excess – The amount of excess is the money you are willing to pay on claims. Lower your premium by showing that you’re willing to pay higher excess.
Think about your cover – Cut down on the add-ons that would have otherwise decreased your premium by 25%.
Don’t claim unless you need to – You get higher no claims discount with a fewer claims. If minor damages can be fixed with your cash on hand, consider spending it than making a claim.
Monday, July 27, 2009
Thomas A. Wilson Jr. , Detroit
Do I want to deprive my family of a provider to get a robber off the street? Do I want to put my family (which is quite extended) at risk? Do I want to draw the wrath of the family members of the accused? I was once 90 percent sure I could identify a home invader from a next-door crime; when put before me, I could not be sure (the shirt and complexion fit; that's not good enough to convict, so I backed off).
Gerald Kent , Detroit
There seems to be a consensus about where the problem of so-called snitching lies. Now let's see how long it takes to clean up the mess. Detroit Mayor Dave Bing and Gov. Jennifer Granholm should take note.
Beverly Henderson , Fowlerville
People in Detroit don't snitch because of fear. Thugs know who ratted them out. If the witness has to testify, that makes the whole thing worse. Even if there is no imminent fear of repercussions, there is fear if you testify. Can you live in the same house, knowing that you told the truth? In most cases, no. It is safer staying silent.
Bonita Grier , Detroit
Fear of reprisal is a big deterrent to testify as a witness. It would make more sense to minimize the number of crimes from taking place in the first place through heavy police patrol in crime-infested areas.
Pradeep Srivastava , Detroit
When the Detroit police force is as corrupt as they come, coupled with the elected officials in the city, honestly, what would you expect and why would anyone jeopardize their life? Detroit and Michigan do not possess integrity, and that rubs off on the citizens, even though there are a lot of good, hard-working people in this state.
Gregg Moe , Troy
Perhaps the unwillingness to be branded as a snitch permeates the African-American culture. And perhaps that's why the murderer of Strawberry is still on the loose.
Martin Yanosek , St. Clair Shores
Friday, July 24, 2009
Charles E. Ramirez / The Detroit News
Mount Clemens -- It looks like something you'd leave on the doorknob of a hotel room, but local authorities are hoping a simple placard will help homeowners combat crime in their neighborhood.
The idea is the brainchild of Crime Stoppers of Michigan, which is touting the use of door hangers to call on homeowners to report information about neighborhood break-ins.
On Thursday, the group's president was joined by Macomb County Sheriff Mark Hackel and Macomb County Prosecutor Eric Smith to launch a public campaign that uses the door hangers to combat burglaries. The campaign comes at a time when home invasions and burglaries are on the rise across the nation and Metro Detroit, authorities said.
In the city of Sterling Heights, for example, the number of burglaries jumped from 390 in 2007 to 467 in 2008, a rise of 19.7 percent, according to FBI statistics.
"Trying to make our communities safer, this is what it's all about," said John Broad, Crime Stoppers' president.
The group has used door hangers in the past, but for specific crimes such as murder or rape. Crime Stoppers plans to make the new door hangers related to burglaries available to law enforcement agencies across southeastern Michigan, Broad said.
On the front, the notices simply read: "Crime Stoppers. Stay Anonymous ... Cash rewards up to $1,000 ...If you have information about a serious crime... 1 (800) SPEAK UP." On the back, they ask residents to call the tip line and include information about a burglary or other crime.
Police officers will hang the signs on the homes in neighborhoods that recently had a break-in, Broad said. The hangers are meant for residents who aren't at home while police are canvassing an area, officials said.
The group chose to announce the program's launch today at a media conference with Hackel and Smith because the two county agencies vigorously support and are participating in it, Broad also said.
The door hangers are one way law enforcement agencies can enlist the aid of the public to find the criminals behind home invasions -- something becoming more critical as police departments are seeing their financial resources shrink, Hackel said.
"We're enlisting the (help of) the public now more than ever," he said. "We need more engaged response from the public ... so we're trying to reach out to those neighbors of homes that have been broken into, let them know that something happened and hoping they'll come forward with any information about things they might have seen."
Hackel and Smith also donated a total of $5,000 on behalf of their offices to Crime Stoppers. The group will use money, which came from forfeiture funds, to support the rewards it gives out if information it receives results in an arrest.
"There are dwindling resources for public safety and we're certainly seeing that in Macomb County," Smith said. "As a result, law enforcement and the Prosecutor's Office need all the eyes and ears on the street that we can get. Crime Stoppers is the perfect way to get people to assist with an investigation without becoming involved."
Lieutenant Michael Debruin: "I believe what they're doing is they're going around looking at the vehicles, looking in the vehicles, trying the door handles."
Lieutenant Michael Debruin has seen about dozens of break ins in just the last month. He says, each time they hit different neighborhoods.
Lieutenant Michael Debruin: "They're going through the neighborhoods somewhere between midnight or 6 or 7a.m., but it's always in a concentrated area and then we won't have any activity for a few days, and then there's activity in another area."
Oftentimes the thieves are targeting unlocked cars, so it's as simple as opening the door and stealing whatever valuables are inside.
Lieutenant Michael Debruin: "There have been a couple of instances where the vehicle has been locked, but they spotted something inside, so they break a window or door handle to get inside."
So now police want you to be on the lookout to help track down the thieves so you don't become the next victim. Police say protecting yourself is as simple as locking your car and keeping valuables hidden, or if you can, put your car in a garage. If you have any information on the crimes, call the Ingham County Sheriff's Department at 517-676-8251.
Firefighters were called about 10:30 p.m. to 371 N. 32nd St. and found the house engulfed in smoke.
The owner of the home, a 61-year-old man who was alone in the house at the time of the fire, was taken to Bronson Methodist Hospital in Kalamazoo with what Springfield public safety officers called life-threatening injuries.
Springfield was assisted by the Michigan Air National Guard Fire Department and Bedford Township Fire Department.
Firefighters were still on the scene at 12:30 a.m. And the two-story frame house was heavily damaged.
The Michigan State Police Fire Marshal was called to investigate the fire.
Other information was not available early this morning.
At home, you can lock your doors. When it comes to your car, you can activate the alarm system.
But what can you do to protect your identity?
Identity theft is one of the fastest growing crimes in America. Someone illegally using your Social Security number and assuming your identity can be more trouble than a car thief or house burglar.
Identity thieves can use your number and your good credit score to apply for more credit in your name. Then, they use the credit cards and do not pay the bills. You may not find out that someone is using your number until you are turned down for credit or you begin to get calls from creditors demanding payment for items you never bought.
So take time to educate yourself in protecting your personal information? Here are some quick tips:
• Keep your Social Security card at home in a safe place, wherever you keep your important paperwork.
• Safeguard your number as well — don’t give it to just anyone; many places you do business with may ask for it as a means of identification even though they can use other identifying information.
• Shred before you toss — identity thieves can rummage through your trash or recycling material and find a goldmine of information, so be sure to destroy any identifying information before you throw it out.
While we’re talking about safety, here’s another great tip: If you receive a benefit from Social Security, get direct deposit. With direct deposit, your payments are electronically sent right to your account and there’s no risk of a payment being lost in the mail or stolen from your mailbox. At Social Security, signing up is quick, easy, and secure. Visit www.socialsecurity.gov/deposit to learn more.
Read our online fact sheet about identity theft at www.socialsecurity.gov/pubs/10064.html.
If you believe someone may be using your number or identity, you should contact the Federal Trade Commission at www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/microsites/idtheft, or call 1-877-IDTHEFT (1-877-438-4338) (TTY 1-866-653-4261.)
Provided by the Social Security Administration, East Stroudsburg. For information or to apply for benefits online, visit www.socialsecurity.gov or call 800-772-1213 or 800-325-0778 (TTY) from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Thursday, July 23, 2009
Raymond Schultz, 20, of Livonia and Westland resident Lawrence Thompson, 31, are each charged with first-degree home invasion. Schultz faces an additional charge of using the stolen credit card. Not guilty pleas were entered for both men at their arraignment.
The woman reported her purse stolen June 16 from the kitchen table of her home on Bertram — a family member had left a door unlocked. Police were able to track the movements of the suspects based on the woman's credit being used at Meijer and White Castle in Livonia along with a Sunoco gas station on Warren at Merriman, all of which had security cameras.
Police released the security photos, which included both men and a burgundy Jeep with custom chrome wheels.
“We received a tip. His (Schultz) friends said people were telling him his vehicle was in the newspaper,” Westland police Sgt. Steve Borisch said. “He had changed the rims — it looks like he painted them black. The Jeep was registered to his mother, but he said it was his vehicle.”
The vehicle was seized for forfeiture based on police finding marijuana residue inside and Schultz's account of using the vehicle to drive to Detroit to purchase the drug, Borisch said.
Schultz, who was on youthful offender status for controlled substance delivery, waived his preliminary examination in 18th District Court and was bound over for trial in Wayne County Circuit Court. He was being held on $250,000 cash bond.
Thompson, located based on information provided by Schultz, is being held on $1 million cash bond and a second $1 million bond on unrelated charges. He was also being held as a parole violator.
Having a history of home invasion convictions dating back to 1998, according to the Michigan Department of Corrections, Thompson is facing multiple additional charges of first- and second-degree home invasions and breaking and entering a building. He was released from prison March 31 and scheduled to be on parole until 2011.
A preliminary examination for Thompson is scheduled for today (Thursday) in 18th District Court.
BREAK-INS: (Values in parentheses) • Cereal City Auto Parts, 320 W. Michigan Ave.: tools (undetermined). • West Northside Drive, first block: bike (undetermined). • Rent First, 668 Capital Ave. S.W.: undetermined. • Calhoun Street, 100 block: money ($175). • Elm Street, first block: household items (undetermined).
THEFTS: • Nichols Road, 4400 block: stereo ($150). • Elias Brothers, 2183 W. Columbia Ave.: cash ($50). • East Goodale Avenue, first block: check (undetermined). • Douglas Street, first block: door ($50). • Family Dollar, 468 W. Michigan Ave.: purse ($20). • North Avenue, 300 block: phone ($70).
by Cami Reister The Grand Rapids Press
Tuesday July 21, 2009, 12:37 PM
The state Legislature is considering mandating that all new single-family and two-family homes have a fire sprinkler system, a concept that has firefighters and home builders at odds.
Supporters say it is a proven technology that will save lives. And while naysayers agree it could be a lifesaver, they believe the added cost would make homes unaffordable and suffocate an industry already on life support.
For the rest of the article follow the link.
Investigators today are continuing to probe the cause of a fire that destroyed a 20,000-square-foot mansion in the township, said Bloomfield Township Police Lt. Paul Schwab.
The blaze, which started early Saturday morning at the home on the 6000 block of Wing Lake Road, took two hours to bring under control. Investigators from the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office are assisting Bloomfield Township authorities, Schwab said.
The home is owned by Linden Nelson, who along with mall developer Al Taubman and other investors debuted Raleigh Michigan Studios in the former GM Truck Product Center in Pontiac earlier this year.
No one was injured in the blaze and damage estimates were unavailable.
“It’s very early on,” Schwab said.
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
Detroit -- Tonight, Friends and family will honor the life of Mar'Keisha Reed, the 17-year-old who died in her home last week along with her father and two brothers of possible carbon monoxide poisoning from a gas-powered generator.
A candlelight vigil will be held at 5:30 p.m. at Cody High School. Mar'Keisha would have started her senior year there this fall.
"She was the typical student, trying to get through adolescence, and she was making good strides," said John Matthews, school principal. In addition to high school classes, Mar'Keisha was enrolled in Wayne County Community College. A family member said she was headed to Japan on a study abroad trip next month.
She had been awarded a $2,000 scholarship to attend John Casablancas Modeling and Acting Training School, her mother, Marquetta Owens, said.
Another vigil will be held Wednesday at Advanced Technology Academy, where DeMarco Owens, 12, and DeMonte Owens, 6, attended school. This fall, the two would have entered sixth and second grade, respectively, family said.
On Wednesday, the family's power was shut off, prompting the family to place a gas-powered generator in the basement to power medical equipment and air conditioners.
DTE Energy acknowledged receiving notice that the father, Vaughn Reed, had filed for bankruptcy, which would have forestalled the shut off. But confusion over the address led to the shutoff.
A funeral service for the victims, including the father, is scheduled 10 a.m. Saturday at New Providence Baptist Church in Detroit. Public visitation will be held at the same location from 5 to 8 p.m. Friday.
firstname.lastname@example.org (313) 222-2019
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
KALAMAZOO, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) – Public Safety officers are trying to stop a growing trend in Kalamazoo.
Home break-ins and burglaries are up 30 percent from 2008. Recently the big sprees have come from three areas; Forest Hills Apartments, Dover Hills Apartments and homes in the Vine neighborhood.
Newschannel 3 spoke with one security expert who says the thieves are getting more desperate.
"The economy the way it is, people losing their jobs, losing homes, unfortunately they're resulting in poor decisions," said Ben Tappenden of Knight Watch.
Tappenden says common sense things like keeping your doors locked and calling police if you see anything suspicious can help keep you from becoming a victim.
In some apartment complexes, people have even started their own neighborhood watch programs.
DELTA TOWNSHIP, Mich. — Ron Fandrick was a football player and two-time All-American wrestler. But after suffering severe burns and a 5-week coma, the Northern Michigan graduate couldn't even lift his head.
Now, the 60-year-old Waverly High School teacher and clinical psychologist is on the road to recovery.
Fandrick tells the Lansing State Journal in an article published Monday he was consumed by flames March 1 when his Lansing-area home caught fire and he tried to rescue his housemate, Bill Waldon Jr.
Waldon died and Fandrick was badly burned. Doctors induced a coma to avoid a heart attack. Multiple organs failed twice. But he rallied.
Fandrick says his training as a therapist helps him stay strong during his painful physical therapy. He hopes to return to work next month.
Monday, July 6, 2009
If you travel for vacation or away on business an empty home is a very easy target for thieves. There are several things residents can do to ensure home security and safety when you are gone.
Always leave a phone number where you can be reached with a trusted friend, colleague or neighbour. This is helpful so that they can reach you in case there is an emergency.
Ask your local paper carrier to stop delivery of fliers or newspapers or you can ask a neighbour to remove papers from your mailbox and store them for your family until you return. Canada Post has a nominal fee for stopping mail delivery and is capable of holding mail until you return.
Arrange for lawn and yard care when you return. Not only do you not want to be ticketed under the City’s bylaw for having an unsightly yard upon your return, but also your home needs to appear lived in. Have friends or neighbours water plants, gardens, and flowerbeds; as well as taking care of the lawn (or snow removal depending on time of year).
You should leave your home secure, locking all doors, disabling your overhead garage door, and locking all outdoor sheds. Your home should appear lived in with your lights or a TV on timers. As well, if leaving a parked vehicle on your property is necessary, leave a set of keys with a friend so that the vehicle can be periodically moved to appear as it was driven.
Close all windows and shut off ringers to your phone. Learn how to access your home answering machine from an alternate location to check your messages on a daily basis. Outgoing phone messages should be the same on your house phone whether you are away for eight hours at work or away for three weeks on a vacation.
Keep yourself secure. Find out from your insurance agent or read your policy to find out how often your home needs to be checked during the winter heating season to ensure that your coverage is intact.
As well, keep photocopies of passports, important identification cards, and bank account numbers in a locked and secure place.
Tragic but true, some people come home and discover their home has been vandalized or broken into. Don’t enter the home. Report the break and enter to the police from a neighbour’s telephone or from your cellphone. Wait for the police to arrive before entering your home, they will proceed to investigate and inform you when you should enter your home.
Albertans have a common goal of home and neighbourhood safety. For more crime prevention tips see www.crimeprevention.gov.ab.ca. Crime Prevention is everyone’s responsibility.
Originally published June 30, 2009 at 1:09 p.m., updated June 30, 2009 at 2:12 p.m.
Summer is finally here. For many of us, this is the time of year to take that much needed break from our daily responsibilities and escape for a relaxing summer vacation.
If you're anything like me, I prefer to do as little thinking as possible in my quest for relaxation.
But don't trade in you're thinking cap for a sombrero just yet. Before you go, here are some safety tips to keep in mind and ensure that your home stays safe during your vacation.
Be sure to lock your house when leaving. It sounds simple, but in the excitement of preparing your get away, it's easy to leave doors and windows unlocked. This includes the biggest door on your home, the garage door. The easiest door or window to get into is one that's been left unsecured.