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Arrests Made in Multi-State Water Department Scam

Several homes in Dearborn were burglarized in October by men claiming to be utility workers.

DEARBORN, MI -- An investigation spanning several jurisdictions and involving law enforcement agencies in Michigan, Ohio and Illinois has resulted in the arrest of three men believed to be responsible for multiple home burglaries—including several in Dearborn.

The men were linked to the crimes by their method of entry into the homes: tricking homeowners—often elderly—into believing that they were from the water department on official business.

The Dearborn Police Special Operations Unit helped identify the white Ford Edge being used by the suspects, resulting in their identification and arrest in Will County, IL, where a similar crime had been committed.

According to the Dearborn Police Department, at least two of those subjects arrested—Walter Miller and Tony Miller—were involved in a robbery of a Dearborn home that occurred on Oct. 19. The two men, who are currently in custody in Illinois, were charged with first-degree home invasion, attempted larceny and unarmed robbery by Dearborn police.

All three men—including the third suspect, 19-year-old Sonny Miller—are residents of Chicago, according to the Southtown Star.

Sonny Miller has not been charged by the Dearborn Police Department.

Additional charges have been filed in the State of Ohio, and several jurisdictions are continuing to investigate.

No charges have been filed against the men concerning a similar crime that took place in Dearborn on Oct. 17, when an 89-year-old homeowner on the 7500 block of Anthony Street was tricked into letting two men into her home.

In that case, as with the others, the men told the woman they worked for the water department, and needed to check her water from inside the home. Once inside, they demanded she pay a water bill, and when the victim retrieved the payment from a safe, they took all of the money in the safe.

In the Oct. 19 incident, which occurred in Dearborn's northeast end, the men were unsuccessful in gaining entry to the home.

At the time of the first incident, Dearborn Police Lt. Dennis Topolski said he believed the incident was a repeat of one that occurred in Detroit, in the Warrendale neighborhood.

No Detroit charges have been filed against Walter, Tony or Sonny Miller.

Eric S November 25, 2012 at 09:12 PM
Now upon conviction lock them up for 20 years....and really mean 20 years. It's well past the time we need to make a crime unworthy of the penalty. These guys will get 3 years then be given this credit or that credit and be out in a little more than a year. Meanwhile innocent and lawful citizens have neither compensation or recourse. We need to make crime penalties harsh.
marooned in Dbn December 17, 2012 at 11:30 AM
With a last name of "Miller", why were these "suspects" originally described as "Arabic males" in the October 18 story ? Also, never....never open your door to people whom you don't know. I don't care what they try to tell you outside of the door. If they say they are from the water dept, or the police dept. If from the police, check the street in front of your house for a marked police car. If in further doubt...call 911 and tell the dispatcher that you suspect the people at your door are claiming to be police officers and you need confirmation of who, in fact they are. The Dbn P.D. will gladly dispatch another police car to your home.

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