Friday, September 18, 2009

'Pillow Case' burglars caught after three-county crime spree

GRAND HAVEN, Mich. (WZZM) - Two men called "the pillow case burglars" are in police custody in Muskegon County. They will likely be arraigned on several charges Friday morning. The men are accused of breaking into homes across West Michigan. The Michigan State Police say the men broke into homes in Muskegon, Ottawa, and Newaygo counties. They could be responsible for more than 25 break-ins over the past several months. Each time, they left their mark. The homeowners reported stolen jewelry and missing pillow cases. Patricia King was the most recent victim. She says it all started Wednesday afternoon when she came home from work. "I walked in the bedroom and I noticed there was no pillow case on my husbands pillow." She immediately knew something was wrong. "Two drawers were partly open. I thought that was weird." Someone had entered her home and stolen several pieces of jewelry. "It was very scary. I went uh, somebody's been in my home and rummaging through my stuff." King called police. Turns out, they were already investigating a string of robberies in three counties. For some of the victims, the timing couldn't have been worse. Lt. David Roesler with the Michigan State Police, Grand Haven Post says, "The subjects started entering homes of people who were away at funerals of family members that had passed away. They would break-in while they were at the funerals." Roesler says they thought they knew who was involved, but needed more proof. When they heard about the break-in at King's house, they tracked the suspects down and found exactly what they were looking for. "We ended up catching them, stopping them shortly after the B & E and because of the traffic stop, several items were found with them." The two men are from the Grant area and have a criminal past. When Pat King heard the news that someone had been caught, she was relieved. She felt violated because someone had entered her home. She also says they stole important pieces of her life. Items that can't be replaced. "I would like to see the Navy medals, my wedding bands back. I would like to know they aren't doing this to anybody else." Police did find King's pillow case in the suspects car. They think the men were using the pillow cases to carry the stolen items out of the homes. Police also say that there may be more victims of the "Pillow Case" burglars. Anyone with information is asked to call the State Police Post in Grand Haven at (616) 842-2100.