You are viewing this article in the archives. For the latest breaking news and updates in Ann Arbor and the surrounding area, see
Posted on Fri, Dec 7, 2012 : 8:48 a.m.

Breathalyzer reported stolen from unlocked vehicle in Ypsilanti

By John Counts

An Ypsilanti man told police Thursday someone broke into his car and stole, among other items, the alcohol ignition interlock device vehicles are outfitted with when the driver has had operating while intoxicated infractions.

The device is like a breathalyzer. The driver must blow into it and, if he does not have alcohol in his system, the car will start.

Ypsilanti police were dispatched to the 1900 block of Washtenaw Avenue at 9:35 a.m. Thursday for the theft, according to a crime summary released by police. The man told police he left his car unlocked overnight. At some point, the suspect or suspects entered the vehicle and took the interlock device, some loose change and a phone charger.

There are no suspects at this time.

View Larger Map

John Counts covers cops and courts for He can be reached at or you can follow him on Twitter.



Fri, Dec 7, 2012 : 11:57 p.m.

Unlocked ovenight, one can't even leave anything unlocked 10 minutes anymore. (day or night)

Woman in Ypsilanti

Fri, Dec 7, 2012 : 10:29 p.m.

Back when I still lived in Ann Arbor, I used to have a car with broken locks and a habit of putting spare change in the ashtray. About once a month or so, someone would break into my car and steal the dollar or so out of the ash tray. I kind of figured that anyone who would take the risk of jail for a dollar probably needed it a lot more than I did. This happened so often that I am kind of surprised that this was considered news or was it considered news because someone reported such a minor theft to the police or was it the breathalyzer as an usual item?

Angry Moderate

Fri, Dec 7, 2012 : 11:10 p.m.

I imagine that anyone in this situation would make a police report to show their parole or probation officer a good reason why they don't have a breathalyzer on their car.

Kyle Mattson

Fri, Dec 7, 2012 : 7:19 p.m.

HI All- I'll just take this opportunity to throw the reminder out that comments which blame the victim of any crime or theft on the site is subject to be removed. I think we all understand that crimes involving open and unlocked doors are more convenient for thieves; however, that does not change the impact of the crime on the individuals who are victims of the incident. Thanks for your understanding!


Fri, Dec 7, 2012 : 4:46 p.m.

I wonder if he got a waiver to drive while waiting for a replacement?


Fri, Dec 7, 2012 : 6:46 p.m.

State law allows for a 7 day grace period. He then must show proof of the new device to the SoS.

Homeland Conspiracy

Fri, Dec 7, 2012 : 3:22 p.m.

"Someone" got drunk & tore it off, so "someone" could drive.


Fri, Dec 7, 2012 : 3:01 p.m.

Seems like an odd theft to me.. I wonder if removed can you start the vehicle? Not making any accusations, just a thought..


Fri, Dec 7, 2012 : 2 p.m.

I can't imagine that there would be a lot of call for such an item on Craigslist or anywhere for that matter.


Fri, Dec 7, 2012 : 2:09 p.m.

action.....My guess is the thief had no idea what it was.I'm not sure how they work ( the breathalyzer unit ) but crooks will take anything that is electronic or looks expensive