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 Mon, Nov 7, 2011 : 1:30 p.m.

Intruder uses fire escape from Graffiti Alley to break into Michigan Theater offices

By Kyle Feldscher


An intruder broke into the Michigan Theater's office from a fire escape in Ann Arbor's "graffiti alley," pictured here.

Ryan Stanton |

Offices on the second floor of the Michigan Theater had doors kicked in and at least one window smashed in a break-in early Sunday morning.

Ann Arbor police Lt. Renee Bush said thief or thieves used the fire escape from the area known as graffiti alley to climb up to the second floor of the building between 1 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. Sunday. Bush said four of the building’s doors were broken down and the window was smashed in one door.

One laptop was stolen out of one of the offices, Bush said. Police did not have an immediate estimate on how much damage was done in the break-in.

The area near the Michigan Theater known as graffiti alley has become a concern for some Ann Arbor residents in the past few months. Businesses have reported customers being scared away by the people hanging out in the alley, and officials from the Michigan Theater went so far as to hire a security guard to patrol the alley.

Sunday morning’s break-in is still under investigation, police said.

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



Sat, Nov 12, 2011 : 9:46 p.m.

i never heard it called 'graffiti alley' before i started reading it's 'tripper's'.


Tue, Nov 8, 2011 : 5:23 p.m.

There are a number of relatively inexpensive security measures which are effective in suppressing this type of break in. Bright illumination and (good) security cameras would be one suggestion. Many if not most of the crimes reported lately are of the "easy pickings" variety. When the business and residential communities "get around to" a more rigorous safety and security consciousness, this problem will disappear.


Tue, Nov 8, 2011 : 1:19 a.m.

A police presence is very needed to bring order and reduce the vagrancy in the area. If there are drug dealers and panhandlers operating in the area, they should be scooped up in raids and treated to a run through the criminal justice system. Our little town is not going to be the same until the police are greatly increased in numbers and make their presence known in the downtown area by foot patrols, all with the support of the citizenry.

Marc Perroquet

Tue, Nov 8, 2011 : 12:51 a.m.

Mine was one of the offices broken into. I have NEVER once seen a security guard in the alley. Furthermore, I found out today that this is the third break-in or attempted break-in and no one told me. This alley is a haven for drug dealers and police seem to be doing nothing to stop it. The landord should have let me know that there had been an attempt to compromise the security of my office so I could have gotten a dead bolt installed, but they did not. Downtown Ann Arbor has gone to the dogs.


Mon, Nov 7, 2011 : 11:51 p.m.

I would love to see this alley condemned and closed down. I can't imagine walking through it, all that spit and who knows what all you are stepping into. Not for my shoes...

lindsay erin

Mon, Nov 7, 2011 : 7:35 p.m., what happened to the security guard?

Macabre Sunset

Mon, Nov 7, 2011 : 9:54 p.m.

Prime suspect?


Mon, Nov 7, 2011 : 6:49 p.m.

What is the deadline for graffiti alley to be repainted or graffiti removed?

Homeland Conspiracy

Mon, Nov 7, 2011 : 9:35 p.m.

Be afraid, be very afraid!!!

hut hut

Mon, Nov 7, 2011 : 9:29 p.m.

@Jonny Boo!

Jonny Spirit

Mon, Nov 7, 2011 : 7:08 p.m.

Come on djm12652 you can't remove the graffiti then what are they gonna call it just an alley, duh :) It's creepy back there and something needs to be done. We used the exit from the theater and got scared. That's bad for downtown Ann Arbor.


Mon, Nov 7, 2011 : 6:46 p.m.

Anyone who thinks the cut back on the Ann Arbor Police force isn't a problem just has to open their eyes while walking around downtown. The drug dealers are every where - they're not even hiding any longer. We need our police force increased, not decreased! Please vote for new council reps!


Mon, Nov 7, 2011 : 9:59 p.m.

I'm not voting in any tea party candidate for city council. I love this town too much to do that kind of disservice to it. So, forget about that option. And if you are trying to say that if we have a large police force, there will be no crime, you are wrong on that point as well. The two do not equate. We have an adequate police presence in this town. i don't like seeing a beefed up police force because it ends up leading to a police state. Take your fear mongering elsewhere, chicken little. This town has an overall low crime rate compared to other cities of its size.

Homeland Conspiracy

Mon, Nov 7, 2011 : 9:34 p.m.

Where right about drug dealers everywhere. I see a drug store on every corner


Mon, Nov 7, 2011 : 6:45 p.m.

Isn't this the same building that was just broken into 5 months ago? <a href=""></a> Not really too surprising. Whoever owns the building has really let it fall into disrepair. I walked back into Graffiti alley a few weeks ago and the backside of the Michigan Theater Building looks like it should be condemned. There are broken windows, broken doors, a/c systems hanging from metal pipes that look like they are about to fall off. It's a shame. Not to mention the fact that the beautiful stone work on the front of the building is falling apart. If you look above the windows, all the great stone work is literally falling off. It seems like a safety hazard since I've personally seen chunks of stone fall off it when having some coffee outside but what if a larger piece fell off and hit someone in the head? Maybe could look into this and who owns the building to make sure it is fixed up before it is in total disrepair or injures someone?