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Posted on Tue, Aug 21, 2012 : 12:15 p.m.

Dexter man charged in Webster Township home invasion, suspected in more across county

By John Counts

The 25-year-old Dexter man charged with home invasion for allegedly stealing jewelry from a Webster Township home is suspected in eight to 10 more break-ins throughout the county, police said.

Steven Paul Colwell was arrested and arraigned on the charge in the days after police took him into custody Aug. 9. Washtenaw County Sheriff’s Office deputies nabbed Colwell after he and two other male suspects were reportedly spotted leaving a residence by the homeowner.


Steven Colwell

Courtesy of the Washtenaw County Sheriff's Office

The homeowner told police she saw three men coming out of her house, hop in a car in the driveway and then drive across the lawn of her home, in the 7000 block of Quail Ridge. Colwell was located soon afterward by police.

Sgt. Geoff Fox of the sheriff’s office said police have identified two other suspects and continue to investigate. No charges have been brought against the two men.

But other home invasion charges against Colwell may follow. Fox said Colwell confessed to not only the Webster Township home invasion, but to numerous break-ins throughout Washtenaw County, including the city of Ann Arbor and the Dexter area.

Fox said detectives couldn’t be sure if Colwell was involved in the July 31 home invasion on Madden in Dexter Township, or similar incidents in the same area a few days earlier, but they couldn’t discount it, either.

“He is suspected of other (home invasions) in the (Dexter) area,” Fox said.

Colwell was scheduled for a preliminary examination in district court Tuesday. He remains in the Washtenaw County Jail on a 10 percent of $50,000 bond, according to jail records.

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


charles hyatt

Fri, Aug 24, 2012 : 1:27 a.m.

i see this playing out just like the 3 pioneer high kids who robbed a bank and got a measely 3year sentence...Except for this time around, i see him getting off with a light sentence or probation, continuing with his life of crime until someone shoots him...Alot of folks are getting sick and tired of being victims of crimes and then having some bleeding heart blame it on the kids being on drugs..Times up for all of that foolery...Time to take a stand..

charles hyatt

Fri, Aug 24, 2012 : 1:23 a.m.

A2citizen...This isnt a kid...he is 25 years old...and the law is the law...a few houses were entered on the west side of ann arbor near dexter and their was a family sleeping just a few...before it was going into unlocked cars, recently it went to unlocked homes..JAIL is the best thing that could have happend to this person...Someone could shot him dead as soon as he entered one of the homes..8-10 times is 8-10 felonies..Public opinion doesnt matter here, the law is the law..and face it, he wont be caught and punished for every crime he stop the bleeding heart...


Wed, Aug 22, 2012 : 1:54 p.m.

$5000 bail? Nice. Shouldn't the bail be at least more than the value of the stolen goods and the property he damaged while allegedly breaking in to the homes? With 8-10 homes burglarized and 8-10 doors and/or windows destroyed, I'm sure $5k doesn't come close.


Wed, Aug 22, 2012 : 10:29 p.m.

Wait, that makes a lot of sense!


Wed, Aug 22, 2012 : 1:44 p.m.

Don't blame the parents.. or the school system, or anything other then him!!. At 25 he knows better. I'm sure in the end it will be found out why he did this. Most common is the need for drugs. My 5 year old grandson knows better then to take what isn't his. Blame is on his shoulders. On the other hand, I am glad he told of other places robbed. Own up boy!!


Wed, Aug 22, 2012 : 5:22 p.m.

Little known fact: Guy breaks into my house, I hold him 100% responsible. Don't care if he is crazy or a dope fiend or what. The only lazy person is the jerk that is ripping other people off.


Wed, Aug 22, 2012 : 4:45 p.m.

Little known fact: blame doesn't have to be black-and-white, and people who think like that are being intellectually lazy. While it is possible that this is 100% his fault, we don't currently know anything about whether he has a mental condition or whether his parents read to him as a child or anything else. For all we know, he could have been traumatically abused. If we simply say "that doesn't matter", then you are excusing those who abused him. If his mental condition doesn't matter, then you are excusing all the idiots who don't believe in supporting mental health clinics. In other words, by proportioning blame realistically, you can address the issues that led this guy astray.

Elaine F. Owsley

Wed, Aug 22, 2012 : 1:42 p.m.

A 25 year old is a grown man, not a child. He is old enough to drink, vote, drive, serve in the military, marry, buy property (not steal) and any other law-abiding endeavor. The title of adult does not, however, allow you to commit crimes of any kind.

Former A2 Resident

Wed, Aug 22, 2012 : 11:57 a.m.

Good work WCSD. Wonder if he was also involved in any of the thefts from cars in those areas.


Wed, Aug 22, 2012 : 11:35 a.m.

I know someone is going to blame it on the disease of heroin addiction or something. Probably every kdi in this country will tell you that hard drugs are extremely dangerous and will ruin your life. This is common knowledge - like looking both ways before you cross a street. I have little sympathy for people that have zero common sense and can't exercise an ounce of restraint (ie.. don't use heroin, don't rob houses). I reject the notion that addiction is a disease and the rest of us should be responsible for treatment. Just trying it - knowing full well the consequences - is a choice. Flat out. Bye bye dude. Have fun in lockup.


Wed, Aug 22, 2012 : 5:18 p.m.

Addiction is a disease where only God and a big book can help you? That's just rubbish. Lobotomies were standard practice among mental health counselors in my parent's lifetime. 20 years ago, 14 year olds were being sent to 6 months to 2 years of hardcore rehab for trying pot the first time - labeled hardcore addicts (e.g. "Straight" or "Brighton Hospital" or "The Bridge"). Nothing could be more absurd, yet "medical professionals' were making a killing doing this. I think any skeptic can see that where there is money, there are motives to say or do just about anything to join that racket (i.e. referrals). Let's have this same conversation in another 50 years and see what medical professionals think. In the mean time, if you try heroin, and you go to prison or get shot trying to rob a house, that's just tough.


Wed, Aug 22, 2012 : 1:33 p.m.

If you have some self control you won't take it in the first place. You get what you ask for.


Wed, Aug 22, 2012 : 12:44 p.m.

You can reject it, but medical professionals don't. "If you are in medical school and you write, "addiction is not a disease" on one of your exams – you will flunk. In medicine, we now know that the addict's brain really is different than normal brains, and from a physiologic standpoint we now know how it is different. This explains a lot of the symptoms we see in full-blown addiction and helps us develop better, more effective treatments to help the addict recover. It also means that addiction fits the Disease Model of illness as well - if not better - than many other diseases. Like say, diabetes"-

Tom Todd

Wed, Aug 22, 2012 : 12:29 p.m.

People become Alcoholics and Addicted to cigarettes too.


Wed, Aug 22, 2012 : 9:06 a.m.

Dexter man charged in Webster Township home invasion, suspected in more across county I can just about guarantee the above was motivated by the below., July 9, 2012: The silent epidemic: How heroin is infiltrating Washtenaw County Lock down everything of value, that can be quickly sold. There is more to come.


Wed, Aug 22, 2012 : 10:20 p.m.

I think if you are looking for a reason, look at unemployment. When unemployment goes up, thivery goes up too. You make a good point though. Addiction does make a lot of people look for ways to fund their habits.


Wed, Aug 22, 2012 : 6:26 a.m.

His parents probably don't give him much attention. To be this young and admitted to doing others as well? I say.


Wed, Aug 22, 2012 : 4:20 a.m.

Wake up, people! The woman saw someone DRIVE ACROSS HER LAWN! Prison is too good for the guilty party.


Tue, Aug 21, 2012 : 10:30 p.m.

Before everyone rushes to judgement, remember this is just a kid. Would you want the law to treat your child harshly for making a mistake only 8 to 10 times throughout the county? Note to self: turn off sarcasm switch.


Tue, Aug 21, 2012 : 9:04 p.m.

Thank you for the follow up.


Tue, Aug 21, 2012 : 6:55 p.m.

There have been numerous burglaries in NE Ann Arbor over the last two months. I would be interested in hearing from the PD which break-ins this gent confessed to, and if any of them were in this neighborhood or not. Any chance a follow-up on this?


Tue, Aug 21, 2012 : 6:10 p.m.

The picture says, "Cowell" and the article says, "Colwell".

John Counts

Tue, Aug 21, 2012 : 6:25 p.m.

Thanks. The typo has since been corrected.


Tue, Aug 21, 2012 : 5:28 p.m.

Get a job!


Wed, Aug 22, 2012 : 1:31 p.m.

Tom, it really is not that hard to find a crap job that pays enough so you don't have to steal for your drug habit. Get a job at a moving company, they are always hiring and they don't care if you are a convict.

Tom Todd

Wed, Aug 22, 2012 : 12:26 p.m.



Wed, Aug 22, 2012 : 11:28 a.m.

John, he should've thought about that before he started stealing from honest people.

John of Saline

Tue, Aug 21, 2012 : 7:21 p.m.

That may prove difficult with felony convictions.