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Three arrests in jewelry theft


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September 13, 2012
CITY OF GROSSE POINTE — Three-fourths of a suspected jewel theft ring wore handcuffs within a week of their alleged crime being discovered Monday, Sept. 3.

Three suspects were arraigned last week in City of Grosse Pointe Municipal Court.

They're accused of stealing, receiving or concealing jewelry from a house in the 300 block of Lincoln.


"(The victim) estimates $1 million worth of jewelry had been taken," said Lt. Eddie Tujaka, leading the initial investigation.

A fourth suspect is at large and known to police.

He's also believed responsible for the theft of model railroad trains from the same house about a year ago, according to a detective.

"When we got a call about a home invasion at that address, I was aware of who my suspects might be," said Detective Christopher Lee. "Based on entry to the home, the condition of the home and where things were taken from, it was fairly obvious someone had intimate knowledge of the home."

All suspects are from Detroit.

Court

Arraigned Thursday, Sept. 6, by Judge Russell Ethridge were Joshua Anthony Sedgeman, 20, and Alaina Renee Robinson, 26.

Charges are receiving and concealing stolen property. Penalties range up to 10 years incarceration and a $10,000 fine.

Sedgeman has a $50,000 bond, of which he has to post only 10 percent.

Robinson has a $50,000 personal bond.

Arraigned Friday, Sept. 7, was Matthew Scott Sedgeman, 19. He's Josh Sedgeman's brother.

Matthew Sedgeman faces one count each of home invasion, larceny of property worth at least $20,000 and being a habitual offender.

The career criminal charge boosts the maximum penalty to life in prison.

Ethridge set bond at $500,000 or 10 percent.

The defendants are scheduled for a preliminary hearing Thursday, Sept. 20.

Theft

The break-in occurred after the homeowner left town Aug. 29.

A neighbor checking the property the morning of Sept. 3 told police of a slightly open first-floor window and the interior in disarray.

"It appears entry was through a first-floor front window," Tujaka said.

Arrests

Police searched for the stolen property at area pawn shops and gold stores.

"We came across transactions that seemed fairly consistent with jewelry taken out of that house," Lee said.

At Coins & Stamps on Mack in the City, the proprietor helped Lee identify stolen property sold at a store in Eastpointe.

"Unknown to us, Josh Sedgeman and Robinson were in the front of the store completing a transaction with some of the stolen property," Lee said.

A Coins & Stamps representative, not knowing the jewelry was stolen, bought it with a $3,006.50 check, Lee said.

"Shortly after they left, (the victim) came in and identified property completed during the transaction and from the other store (in Eastpointe)," Lee said.

Officers ordered a stop on the check and to be alerted when the suspects tried to cash it.

"A couple hours later, the two tried to cash it at Chase Bank on Cadieux at Harper," Lee said. "We went there and scooped them up."

"After making those arrests, officers searched those suspects' home and recovered more jewelry and a minor amount of narcotics," said Chief Stephen Poloni.

The investigation escalated Wednesday, Sept. 5, to deployment of the Grosse Pointe-Harper Woods special response team.

Team members raided a house in the 19300 block of Kingsville, near Moross and Kelly in Harper Woods; and in the 12200 block of Riad, near Morang and Kelly in Detroit.

"SRT members assisted with evidence collection and security," according to team member, Officer Tony Spina of Grosse Pointe Shores public safety.

"No injuries (were) reported."

"We arrested one suspect and found jewelry and some marijuana," Poloni said. "We've not recovered all the jewelry. We're still investigating other leads."


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