Harrison man arrested for allegedly burning five kittens in bonfire

July 31, 2015

Richard Bancroft

Richard Bancroft

By Pat Maurer

Richard Bancroft, 60 of Harrison, has been arrested and charged with “animal killing/torturing.”

The arrest stems from a July 3rd complaint that he allegedly burned five kittens to death at a Hayes Township home in the 4000 block of Oak Woods.
According to information in the police report, Bancroft was at the home earlier to see Michael Connors there about the progress of repairs being made to his vehicle. Connors’ wife Lisa told 9 & 10 news that she believed he was upset over her husband’s work on the vehicle. Later that day Bancroft allegedly set a fire in front of the Connors garage. Lisa’s sister-in-law’s father, who is staying at the home, said when Bancroft left, he went out and found Bancroft had started a fire in front of the garage. She said he had a disagreement with Bancroft over starting the fire in a tire.

The owner of the kittens, Lisa Conners, said she had left the home for work and got a text message that there was an emergency at her home. Bancroft had left her home when she got back. When she returned she said she found the five kittens burned to death in the fire and her blind cat, the father of the kittens, missing. She immediately reported the incident to the Clare County Sheriff’s Department, who began an investigation.

Lisa told 9 & 10 that the adult cat, Lucky, was eventually found by her husband Mike against a fence with his neck snapped. In a Facebook post, Lisa said she wouldn’t give up until she gets justice for her murdered pets.

Clare Undersheriff Dwayne Miedzianowski reported that several attempts to question Bancroft about the claim were unsuccessful as deputies were unable to locate him. Investigators then sought a warrant from Clare County Prosecutor Michelle Ambrozaitis and once it was issued, they located and arrested Bancroft “walking in the south end of Harrison” Tuesday evening.

He was taken to the Clare County Jail, where an interim bond was set at $35,000/10 percent, then updated to $35,000 cash surety, Lisa said on Wednesday afternoon.

Bancroft’s arraignment in 80th District Court was scheduled for Thursday morning.
He remains lodged at the Clare County Jail.

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