Fancy chrome wheels and a tip helped Westland police arrest two men for stealing a local woman's purse while she slept and going shopping with her credit card.
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.