MASON COUNTY, Mich. — Investigators revealed the elderly West Michigan man targeted in a recent Oceana County home invasion had been targeted once before, when he was then kidnapped and held for ransom.
A police raid in neighboring Mason County Thursday sought a suspect wanted in connection to Wednesday’s break-in, though investigators couldn’t say whether the two incidents may be connected.
Perhaps a dozen or more emergency vehicles, SWAT vehicles and police cruisers could be seen converging on a heavily wooded property at the intersection of NW HWY 10 and Budzynski Road near Custer Thursday afternoon.
Several officers were seen outfitted in full riot gear, including helmets and flak jackets.
They remained on scene for several hours.
The search warrant was served, though the suspect was not located, according to Oceana County Sheriff Craig Mast.
Investigators related several additional details tied to Wednesday’s home invasion.
The burglar allegedly entered the home after breaking-open a rear sliding glass door on the property on West Fox Road near Mears around 1:30 a.m. Wednesday morning.
He was armed with a crow-bar and wearing a ski mask, investigators said.
The 81-year-old female homeowner confronted the burglar with a revolver, firing the weapon, yet failed to hit her intended target.
The suspect then allegedly charged her and took the gun, later assaulting her 84-year-old husband before ransacking the house, taking any valuables including cash and jewelry.
“That’s stuff you see in movies,” Sheriff Mast related. “That’s not generally what we have here in Oceana County. It’s pretty graphic, shocking to break a home in such a manner. It certainly is.”
The suspect also allegedly stole the family Jeep, a 2015 Grand Cherokee.
The vehicle was later found abandoned in front of a Hart business.
“With some other evidence, we’re pursuing that investigation,” Mast said.
A month and a half prior to Wednesday’s incident, Mast said the same elderly man had been the victim of a kidnapping and ransom attempt, when he was then held at an undisclosed location in Muskegon County.
That’s a state police case.
An MSP spokesperson told 13 ON YOUR SIDE the case was still active at the time of publication Wednesday and declined to comment further.
It remained unclear whether the two incidents were linked.
The break-in suspect’s identity was not released pending his arrest and formal arraignment.
On Sept. 22, 13 ON YOUR SIDE has obtained the 911 call made that night:
Stay with 13 ON YOUR SIDE for any additional details.
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