Man accused of distracting police with fake crime report, then stealing Vicodin from pharmacy
A 29-year-old Saline man was arrested Thursday evening for breaking into the Saline Pharmacy and stealing Vicodin after attempting to throw police off his trail by calling in a fake break-in at his old address.
The man, whose name will be released after he is arraigned, confessed to police Thursday that he called in a fake burglary report and then broke into the pharmacy, 75 E. Bennett St., to steal Vicodin, according to Det. Don Lupi. The man also admitted to stealing Vicodin from the same pharmacy early on Christmas morning, Lupi said.
“It was a team effort and a lot of officers worked together and in the end we were able to apprehend the suspect,” Lupi said. “In subsequent interviews, he confessed his involvement.”
Police were dispatched at 1:07 a.m. Thursday to the 700 block of Valley Circle Drive for a report of one man breaking into the caller’s gold Chevrolet Cavalier and two other men attempting to break into the caller’s apartment. However, police found that the occupant of the apartment was asleep and had not called the department, according to the police report.
While talking with the resident at the apartment, police received another call alerting them that the Saline Pharmacy had been victimized by an intruder and Vicodin was stolen from behind the counter, according to the report.
Lupi said the man who was arrested later admitted that the address he directed police to was the apartment where he used to live.
At 1:14 a.m., police responded to the pharmacy and found the lower right pane of glass on the double front entrance doors had been partially broken out, the report stated. The hole was large enough for a person to enter, according to the report.
Pittsfield Township police provided back up for the Saline police at the scene of the crime and a K-9 unit from the Washtenaw County Sheriff’s Office was also called in, according to the report.
The search dog found a black knit cap with a Jet’s Pizza logo on a path while walking eastbound away from the pharmacy, according to the police report. The 29-year-old man had worked at a local Jet’s Pizza, according to the report.
The man was only employed by the store for a short period earlier this week and was not a current employee at the time of his arrest, according to an official with Jet's Pizza.
The report stated police determined the man had entered and exited the pharmacy through the broken pane of glass and had jumped over the counter in order to steal 650 Vicodin pills. In the early Christmas morning burglary, approximately 200 pills were stolen from the pharmacy, according to the report.
Lupi said the man neutralized one of the pharmacy’s video cameras in the Thursday morning burglary, but there were other cameras that would have caught him on video.
A partial fingerprint was found during the investigation of Thursday’s incident and was used to identify the man, according to the report. He was arrested Thursday afternoon and admitted his involvement in the incident to Lupi later that evening, according to the report.
The man told Lupi he had thrown three rocks at the glass door and then hit his shoulder against the glass 10 times before it broke, according to the report. That incident was reported to police at 1:56 a.m. on Dec. 25 by a burglary alarm, according to the report.
The break-in early on Christmas morning was much the same as the one reported Thursday. The glass had been repaired following the original incident, according to the report.
Lupi said police were able to identify the man’s voice based on the call he made to report the fake breaking and entering incident. While police have the ability to find out where a call is coming from when someone calls 911, the man had called the department’s business line, making it impossible to immediately discover where the call was coming from, Lupi said.
The man is scheduled to be arraigned Saturday morning at the Washtenaw County Jail, Lupi said.