Three arrested for break-ins throughout Osceola County, surrounding areas
OSCEOLA COUNTY — Three men are facing charges in connection with dozens of break-ins after police recently discovered hundreds of items of stolen property.
From September to February, several businesses and residence have been broken into in Osceola County, with many of the incidents primarily being centered in the Marion area, according to a release from the Osceola County Sheriff's Office.
Additionally, several more breaking and enters occurred in Missaukee and Clare counties. Osceola County detectives worked with investigators from those counties and the Michigan State Police, believing all these burglaries were connected. Their investigative efforts paid off when suspects were recently identified.
On Friday, Feb. 17, Osceola County detectives along with detectives from Clare County, Missaukee County, Michigan State Police, the Traverse Narcotics Team (TNT) and Central Michigan Enforcement Team (CMET) executed search warrants at several residences in Osceola County, Missaukee County and Clare County.
During the searches, police recovered hundreds of items of stolen property. These items included furniture, tools, 4-wheelers, golf carts, UTVs, boats, snowmobiles, firearms, electronics, vehicles and more. In the process of conducting the investigation and executing the search warrants, two active meth labs also were located in Marion and processed by officers.
"It's overwhelming how much was found," said Osceola County Undersheriff Justin Halladay. "The scope of this is quite big. We are still executing search warrants and finding more stuff."
Halladay said the break-ins were not typical where a few items were taken. Instead, entire rooms of homes and garages were cleared out in many instances.
"In a lot of cases the thieves take small things like money or jewelry, but they were taking everything — furniture, clothing and high-dollar items," he said.
Three subjects have been arrested and arraigned on charges in connection to this case.
Daniel Weaver, 47, of Marion, is charged with two counts of breaking and entering of an unoccupied structure and one count of second-degree home invasion.
James Lee Berube, 25, of Evart, is charged with two counts of breaking and entering of an unoccupied structure and one count of second-degree home invasion.
Joseph Blake Cruson, 38, of Marion, is charged with two counts of breaking and entering an unoccupied structure and one count of second-degree home invasion.
Drug charges are expected to be filed, but none of the men have been arraigned on any such charges at this time.
All three have bond set at $750,000 each and preliminary examinations scheduled for 1:30 p.m. on Thursday, March. 9, in Osceola County's 77th District Court.
There have been at least 30 business and residence breaking and enterings throughout the three county area that detectives believe they have been able to connect these suspects to.
Detectives from Osceola County, Missaukee County, Clare County and the Michigan State Police continue to investigate the burglaries. Warrants may still be sought for additional suspects or crimes.
The process of inventorying, marking and identifying all the stolen property back to the original jurisdiction and case will take some time. When all the property has been processed, investigators will contact victims from the reports regarding returning their property.
"Right now this is still evidence, but once we have everything collected, photographed and situated, we hope to get everything back to its rightful owners," Halladay said. "We will contact those who have filed reports with us if we find their items."
Although several break-ins have now been closed with these arrests and investigation, there may be more which were not initially reported. Anyone who was a victim of a breaking and entering in the last few months in Osceola County or the surrounding area but did not initially report the crime is encouraged to file a report now with authorities.
Additionally, anyone who may have bought or received items from the listed suspects without knowing the items were possibly stolen should contact law enforcement.
Anyone with information on stolen items or looking to file a report can contact the following law enforcement agencies:
- Osceola County Sheriff’s Office at (231) 832-2288
- Clare County Sheriff’s Office at (517) 539-7166
- Missaukee County Sheriff’s Office at (231) 839-4338
- Michigan State Police — Mount Pleasant Post at (989) 372-7925