A second person has been arrested in connection with a number of thefts at Clark Lake on September 17th. Matthew Lyle McMillen of Michigan Center was arrested over the weekend and is in jail, charged with larceny from a motor vehicle which is a five year felony. His court date is October 16.
Columbia Township Police Chief David Elwell indicates that the 17 year old was believed to be out of the area on the date he was charged, October 1. The warrant “was entered into LEIN, and over the past weekend, McMillen was arrested outside of Jackson County.”
As reported previously on this website, a 19 year old from Blackman Township was arrested on the day the thefts took place. Columbia Township Police report that the crimes took the form of “car-hopping” or “shed-hopping”, apparently going for whatever could easily be taken from unlocked cars or structures. At least eight calls came into the police department starting early in the morning. The thefts occurred at the east end of Clark Lake near Ocean Beach Road.
Trystin Paul-William Brown was charged with “breaking and entering a building with intent” (10 year felony), “stolen property-receiving and concealing $1000 or more but less than $20,000” (5 year felony), “larceny in a building” (4 year felony) and “larceny less than $200” (a 93 day misdemeanor).
Columbia Township Police Chief David Elwell said the first call to police came early on Thursday morning, and other residents reported items missing throughout the day. Chief Elwell describes how the investigation began: “At approximately 3:25 A.M. on September 17, 2015, a Clark Lake resident on Shady Lane got into his vehicle to leave for work, and immediately discovered that his briefcase was missing from his vehicle. He then drove a short distance and noted a suspicious vehicle along the roadway, and stopped to look at it. He memorized the license plate number, and observed a number of tools and other items in the vehicle.”
Having the license plate number led the investigators to a Blackman township address, and police kept an eye on the residence. Then a serendipitous moment occurred. A Columbia Township officer in driving on Parnall Road near Morrill Road spotted the very vehicle they were looking for. The officer followed the vehicle to an address in Walnut Ridge and Brown was taken into temporary custody. He was interviewed and taken to the Jackson County Jail.
The investigation led to the recovery of a large amount of stolen property from an address in Michigan Center. Then at a second location, this one in Blackman Township, more stolen property was recovered, including outdoor power equipment.