Police suspicious of three individuals caught with pick up truck full of scrap metal in Liberty Square
The Washtenaw County Sheriff's Department is investigating three individuals discovered in Liberty Square with a pick up truck full of aluminum siding and scrap metal from the Ypsilanti Township townhome complex.
The individuals told authorities they found the scrap metal on the ground and thought it was garbage.
Mike Radzik, director of the Ypsilanti Township Office of Community Standards, said a township building inspector called the police after spotting the truck in the mostly abandoned townhouse complex around 1 p.m. Tuesday.
No charges have been filed yet, said Sheriff's Department Lt. Jim Anuszkiewicz.
Radzik said the building inspector was working in the complex because people have been breaking into the sealed, abandoned townhomes over the last week. He said about 25 units have been broken into, and each unit costs around $120 to re-secure.
Much of the metal already had been stripped from around 65 units in the 151 unit-complex by the president of the complex's homeowners' association, Joe Koenig. Koenig's wife owned many of the properties, and Koenig has admitted in court that he stripped the units when they went through tax foreclosure.
Radzik said very little metal remains in any of the units with the exception of a little bit of plumbing and the occasional appliance.
Authorities said they haven't determined whether the three suspects identified on Tuesday are involved in breaking into the secured units.
A judge recently ordered the mostly vacated townhome complex demolished within 60 days. Sheriff's Department deputies have been patrolling area.