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Burglar Leaves Tracks in Snow, Is Caught and Arrested

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January 28, 2012
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Burglar Leaves Tracks in Snow, Is Caught and Arrested

One result of a relatively mild winter is less snow in much of the US, which means fewer stories like this one, where a burglar failed to take into account how Mother Nature can work on the side of law enforcement. Every winter I see a rash of stories where police have been able to follow a burglar from the crime scene by following tracks in the snow. Today’s post, based on a police report from Oak Park, Michigan, takes the concept even one step (sorry!) further

A suspected party-store burglar was arrested a half mile away after police say they tracked small red marks in the snow left from dye in his wet Nike tennis shoes. “We kept his shoes as evidence,” said Ferndale Detective Paul Simpson. “When I questioned him the day after his arrest his socks and feet were still stained red.”

Interesting Way to Break In

Cornelius Maddox, 43, of Detroit is jailed on $25,000 cash bond following his arraignment Monday. An alarm at the Ardmore Party Store, 1318 W. Nine Mile Road, alerted police to a break- in about 11 p.m. Sunday. Cigarettes, liquor and hundreds of dollars in cash were taken from the store, police said. Police said the suspect took a cap off a nearby fire hydrant and broke a window to get inside the store.

A fire hydrant cap? That's a novel approach. And I bet the store had a monitored alarm system!

How Police Tracked Him

“We found a Nike footprint near the fire hydrant leaking a red dye material that left marks in the snow,” Simpson said. “We followed those marks and the footprints from the tennis shoes.” Officers tracked the suspect’s trail west through a series of backyards, Simpson said. “Along the way we found a garbage bag full of 47 packs of cigarettes and several bottles of liquor,” he said. “A little farther on we found a hat we believe belongs to the suspect.”

The Arrest

The prints in the snow eventually led police to a house on Majestic Street in Oak Park. Police knocked on the door and the homeowner let them in. “The suspect was sitting in the living room and was wearing a wet pair of red Nike tennis shoes,” Simpson said. Police said they found a total of $451 in the pockets of Maddox’s pants and sweatpants. Maddox is being held in the Oakland County. “He’s wearing a pair of flip-flops now,” Simpson said. “And he still has red stains on his feet.”

We’ll continue to keep you posted on the crime scene around the US, especially when it comes to important news about residential burglaries. It’s our goal to be your resource for the crime statistics, burglar behaviors, and the latest technologies to thwart intruders – including our very popular Top 10 Home Security Tips. FrontPoint is the only alarm company in the country to use safer cellular monitoring on every system we sell – and charge less for it. But what people really know us for is our smarter Interactive level of monitoring. Make sure your home (or business) is protected: by FrontPoint, the leader in wireless home security, and the #1 ranked alarm company in the US.

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