Troy Police clear 42 auto burglaries

Published 12:00 am Thursday, June 8, 2000

Staff Writer

With the aid of the accused, officers from the Troy Police Department have cleared 42 cases of vehicle burglaries.

"That’s the most car burglaries we’ve ever cleared with one arrest," Chief Anthony Everage said, adding he hopes even more are cleared.

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As of Thursday morning, the large number of car burglaries have been cleared and property returned because a man arrested in connection with the crimes has offered his assistance to police.

Bruce Lee Griffen, 19, of Troy was arrested on June 3. Since his arrest, he has proven to be valuable to detectives.

"He’s cooperating and that’s allowing us to recover property and return items to the owners," Everage said.

Griffen was charged with possession of stolen property and for possessing a firearm when forbidden to have one. When caught, Griffen had in his possession a firearm, which was later reported stolen from a vehicle.

He has not been charged in the actual commission of the crimes. Fingerprints lifted from the vehicles that were burglarized have been sent to the state lab.

"We hope some of those tie in to more of these cases," Everage said of the fingerprints.

It is uncertain as to when those lab results will be back in Troy because of a backlog in the Forensic Sciences Department.

As of Thursday morning, the following property had been recovered: a Winchester shotgun, two four-foot speakers, two stereo systems, an amplifier mount, a BB pistol, makeup compact, dual cassette player, stereo receiver, two 6X9 speakers, an AM/FM/cassette car stereo, ladies wallet with contents and partial contents of a purse, a five-gallon gas can.

"I feel sure we’re going to recover more property," Everage said.

"Car burglaries are one of the hardest to work because there’s usually very little evidence left and they’re (committed at) random," the police chief said.

"He was just wearing us out," Everage said of the number of car burglaries being reported.

But, there are ways to prevent such thefts.

The police chief said many of the car burglaries occurred at night with vehicles parked in the victims’ driveways. The perpetrators would look into the vehicle to see if there was anything inside they might want.

"You can’t leave your stuff in there for people to see," Everage said of such items as purses and wallets left in plain view.

Everage commended patrolman and detectives for their efforts in working the cases and searching for Griffen.

"They’ve done an excellent job," Everage said of officers in the TPD.

Through June 6, there have been 71 car burglaries ­ 24 in April and 22 in May ­ reported to the Troy Police Department.