Benton Harbor police say a suspect in a series of break-ins crashed a stolen dump truck during a pursuit last week. He was then arrested after a short foot chase.
On August 8 police say the front window of a bar in the 100 block of 5th Street was smashed out and an ATM removed from the building.
On August 19 computers and a dump truck were taken from a property in the 600 block of Paw Paw Avenue, say police.
Later that day the stolen dump truck was spotted near Cross Street and Agard Street in the city of Benton Harbor. Police say as they tried to stop the truck the suspect began driving recklessly and crashed near Union Park.
The suspect, who police identified as 47-year-old Ronald Crafton of Benton Township, ran off on foot and was caught a short distance away, say police.
Crafton’s shoeprints were matched to shoeprints at the Paw Paw Avenue break-in, say police. Further investigation and tips from citizens led police to find pieces of the stolen ATM in the 1200 block of Jennings Street.
The following charges have been authorized:
- Safe Breaking - Felony - Life max
- Breaking and Entering – Felony - 10 year max
- Fleeing Eluding 3rd Degree –
- Receiving Concealing Stolen Vehicle – Felony – 10 year max
- Resist and Obstruct Police – Felony – 2 year max
- UDAA unlawful driving away an auto – Felony
- Breaking and Entering – Felony – 10 year max
- Parole Detainer
“Crafton is currently being held in the Berrien County jail on more than $100,000 bond and a parole detainer through the Michigan Department of Corrections, as he is on parole for burglary,” police said in a news release issued Friday. “Crafton is also a person of interest in other downtown break-ins, however no charges have been filed pending further investigation.”
Anyone with information about these crimes is asked to call 269-927-0293 or Crime Stoppers 1-800-342-STOP.