A call to the Clare County Sheriff’s Department about two breaking and entering complaints led to the discovery of a rash of 18 similar incidents over the night of February 9 in Clare, Isabella and Gladwin Counties and to the arrest of two men within three days in connection with all of the break-ins.
Sheriff John Wilson said he was pleased the results of the joint investigation which quickly led to the arrest of two Clare County men. Samuel Joseph Lueders, 19, of Clare and Robert Wrather Wade, 18, of Farwell were charged in connection with the robbery spree.
Sheriff’s Deputies first investigated a complaint at the Oak Ridge Party Store in Farwell and next a complaint from the North Marathon gas station north of Harrison where two suspects broke windows to gain access, stealing cigarettes and alcohol.
Meanwhile the Clare City Police were handling complaints there during the same night. Break-ins were reported in Clare at Mancino’s, the Quick Lube and Jumbo Video, where the front door was damaged in an attempted break-in.
Beaverton was also targeted, with police investigating five break-ins at local businesses there. Surveillance video from more than one of the businesses showed two suspects and the vehicle used in the break-ins.
February 13, the suspect vehicle and driver were located in Clare. After an interview, police discovered the vehicle owner had lent the vehicle to her grandson occasionally.
Clare County Deputies and Clare City Police executed a search warrant at a Surrey Township residence February 14, obtained as a result of the police investigation by the CCSD, and information from the Clare City Police and Isabella County Sheriff’s Department.
Stolen property was recovered from the residence, where Lueders was interviewed and arrested in connection with 16 of the break-ins. In an update to information released by the Clare County Sheriff’s Department the number of businesses involved in the break-ins was increased to 18 in the three counties.
A second search warrant for a residence in Sheridan Township resulted in the recovery of more stolen items.
A second suspect, Wade was interviewed and arrested in connection with the break-ins.
Both men were arraigned in the 80th District court in Harrison on Wednesday and each charged with two counts of breaking and entering a building with intent, two counts of larceny from a building and two counts of malicious destruction of property.
Bond was set at $100,000 cash for each man. They both remain lodged in the Clare County Jail and are both facing additional charges through the City of Clare, Isabella County Sheriff’s Department, Beaverton City Police and the Gladwin County Sheriff’s Departments.