February 14, 2013GROSSE POINTE FARMS - A longtime criminal being prosecuted for car theft lit up the municipal courtroom wearing buglight-yellow pants and matching pull-over from the Wayne County Jail.
His future's much dimmer than his county-issued outfit, according to police compiling evidence against Frederick Alex Schmerheim, 36, of St. Clair Shores.
“He's back in jail for two reasons,” said Lt. Richard Rosati, head of the Grosse Pointe Farms Public Safety Department detective bureau. “He's a parole absconder, so the Michigan Department of Corrections has a hold on him. He's also bound over for trial for our stolen vehicle.”
On Wednesday, Feb. 6, Schmerheim waived his right to a preliminary examination in Farms court.
The case moves to Wayne County Circuit Court.
Schmerheim, with the tattoo of a wizard on his lower right arm, needs more than a talisman when proceedings resume downtown at 9 a.m. Wednesday, Feb. 13.
He was arrested on Detroit's eastside during the late afternoon of Saturday, Jan. 26, in a red 2007 Ford Escape reported stolen about two hours prior from behind Irish Coffee, 18666 Mack.
Rosati said Schmerheim denied stealing the car.
“He said he crack-rented it,” Rosati said. “He said he gave a guy at a dope house six rocks of crack (cocaine) for the car. That was in his confession.”
The theft victim, Linville Stover, 87, of the Farms, was allowed to testify during the otherwise-waived prelim last week rather than travel downtown.
“We wanted to put some things on the record and preserve his testimony for later use and the balance of the exam,” explained Gary Bresnehan, principal attorney at the Wayne County Prosecutor's office.
Stover testified to parking the car at about 2 p.m., leaving it unlocked with the keys on the front seat.
Upon returning at 4 p.m. “It wasn't there,” Stover said, adding that police returned it the next day.
Judge Matthew Rumora maintained Schmerheim's $50,000 bond.
“That'll conclude the hearing,” Rumora said.
Schmerheim's 20-year criminal history started in 1993 with receiving and concealing stolen property, according to Rosati.
In 1995, Schmerheim began the first of eight terms of incarceration for such crimes as home invasion, dealing drugs, car theft and fleeing police, according to state records.