FPD seek home invasion suspect
A helicopter with a bright spotlight caused quite a commotion in the Frankenmuth area last Friday night.
The chopper was in the community, helping the Frankenmuth Police Department track down a home invasion subject, who is still at large.
The incident began around 10pm August 22 when officers responded to a Saginaw County Central 911 dispatch to the 200 block of West Tuscola Street for a reported home invasion and assault.
Officers arrived and found the victim still inside her dwelling and identified her as a 25-year-old Frankenmuth resident.
The victim told officers she was alone inside the residence when she heard her sliding glass door open, FPD Chief Don Mawer said.
“Initially, she thought there were friends entering but she encountered an unknown male subject inside the residence,” Mawer said.
The victim told officers there was a brief physical altercation in the living room where the assailant grabbed her and attempted to remove her from the residence.
The female had visible signs of bruising from the encounter.
The suspect then fled through the same sliding glass door. The only description given to officers as of press time is that he is a male subject. There is no update on his description.
At the time of the initial call, Frankenmuth officers set up a perimeter around the area and called a K-9 unit from the Saginaw County Sheriff’s Department. During the search, a resident living in the 200 block of Ardussi Street called 911, stating someone was trying to open his garage door.
The police dog began its track at the residence and the track ended in the 400 block of Trinklein Street.
“We gave the dog a rest and then initiated a second search, beginning at the residence. The dog took the same track, step by step, back to Trinklein Street where the suspect likely had a car waiting for him,” Mawer said.
The Michigan State police and Birch Run Police Department also assisted the FPD.
It was the chopper that caused quite a stir as area residents scrambled to lock their doors, not knowing what was happening.
Chief Mawer explains: “Governor Rick Snyder added three Michigan State Police helicopters as part of his Safe Cities Initiative less than one year ago. This helicopter, MSP 1, is designated for use in Saginaw County only. There are helicopters dedicated for Genesee and Oakland counties as well one on the west side of the state.”
MSP 1 was patrolling over Saginaw City when they picked up the radio traffic and responded to assist in finding the suspect.
“They monitored our radio traffic and they just happened to be in the air. They can use a spotlight and thermal imaging to find persons,” Mawer explained.
Often on routine patrols, the chopper pilots will notice something suspicious, like someone hiding behind a dumpster or persons entering corn fields where, at this time of the year, marijuana can be grown.
The pilots will radio to the ground units to investigate. Other uses included Alzheimer patients who wander away, persons who leave the scenes of personal injury accidents and persons fleeing scenes where a crime was committed, such as Friday night.
“Having dedicated air support is another tool to help officers in cases like this,” Mawer said.