Home Invasions in EL Remain Unsolved

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Tuesday, August 25, 2015, 10:00 am
Ann Nichols

Two separate incidents of home invasion and assault occurred in East Lansing in the early morning of Saturday, August 22. According to a press release issued by the City, the first incident occurred in the 300 block of M.A.C. Avenue at about 6 a.m., the second in the 500 block of Grove Street at approximately 7:30 a.m. Both homes were entered illegally, and in both cases the victims were assaulted after confronting the intruder.

The press release describes the suspect as “a black male, approximately 20-30 years old, approximately 5’7” to 6’ tall with an average build and short hair or a shaved head. The suspect was last seen wearing a collared, button-down shirt with a bright blue pattern and/or a white under shirt with a pattern; and tan shorts or pants. The suspect could possibly have been wearing thin-framed glasses with round lenses.”

I contacted ELPD Captain Larry Sparkes yesterday to find out if progress has been made in finding the suspect, and to ask about what East Lansing residents can do to protect themselves. According to Sparkes, no further incidents have been reported, the ELPD continues to investigate, and there is no suspect identified as of this time.

I asked Sparkes whether he thought it was significant that the perpetrator had chosen houses in student neighborhoods, and he responded that “it is hard to say what the suspect was thinking. Both took place in close proximity to the other. It could be that the suspect was just in that area for an unknown reason.”

As far as general safety, Sparkes advises residents to “report any suspicious behaviors observed. In addition, residents should ensure their windows and doors are locked.”

I asked him whether the victims had been smart to confront their attacker, to which he replied, “the decision to confront a suspect is a personal choice. At times, it may be the only choice depending upon the circumstances involved. If an individual has the time they can always lock themselves in a secure room and call 911. Another option may be fleeing the residence and calling 911. Each choice largely depends upon the specific situation.”

Finally, I inquired about the communication between ELPD and MSU, since the home invasions occurred at a time when some students are moving in, and classes have not yet started. Sparkes indicated that “Information was released by Nixle to alert persons in the city, including students. Additional communications have taken place with MSU in order to further pass the information to the student population.”

The City of East Lansing asks anyone with information about these crimes to call ELPD at (517) 319-6897 or 1-877-ELPD-TIP.

 You can sign up for Nixle, the local emergency notification system, at: https://local.nixle.com/register/

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