(01/17/12) - A trio of suspected burglars are behind bars, charged in connection to one case.
But detectives think their arrests may help them close the books on several other unsolved cases, after a rash of break-ins in the village of Chesaning in southern Saginaw County.
Since around Christmas time Chesaning has seen an increase in certain crimes.
"Stolen vehicles, three in a week, out of the village of Chesaning. 14 car larcenies within a week and now home invasion," said William Federspiel, the Saginaw County sheriff.
Tuesday afternoon Chadrick Lovato, Melissa Whelton and Joshua Perkins were charged in one of those cases.
The sheriff says they were caught inside Jenna and David Knoblauch's apartment at Meadow Wood Village.
Everything from jewelry to prescription drugs and even a gun was taken from the Iraqi war veteran and his family.
"It keeps running through my mind, what if I would have been home and what do I do with my kids," said Jenna Knoblauch.
The Knoblauchs were gone but thankfully two alert neighbors stepped up, the sheriff said. "One person heard something, glass breaking, and other concerned citizen saw people, these people, in the area, they didn't believed they belonged there."
Whelton doesn't have a criminal history, but Lovato and Perkins do. Lovato is one probation while Perkins is on parole after serving prison time, according to the sheriff.
"Thank God they got him, he's off the streets and hopefully we can lock him away for a long time," said David Knoblauch.
Federspiel says detectives are working to tie Lovato, Whelton and Perkins to the other larceny-related crimes.
Jenna looks forward to seeing justice served and has this message for her neighbors turned suspected thieves. "To come into my home where my children eat and sleep and play, and this was a place where we called home and it's gonna be very, very hard for us to go back in there now."
David has returned, but says it was difficult to sleep. Meantime Jenna and the kids are staying with family.
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