Traverse City Record-Eagle

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September 11, 2013

Getaway goes very wrong

TRAVERSE CITY — A report of a man “hanging from the rafters” inside a Front Street business led police to a suspect accused of string of downtown Traverse City burglaries.

Authorities charged Isaac Samuel Popa, 22, of Traverse City, with multiple felonies after his Sept. 5 arrest inside the 2nd Level Goods skate shop. City Police Capt. Brian Heffner said officers tracked down Popa after witnesses saw a suspect smash the back window of a Lincoln Navigator parked on Front Street.

“He then runs through Brew (coffee shop),” Heffner said.

Witnesses said the suspect then stole a bicycle in the alleyway by Bistro FouFou. The next report of the suspect came from 140 E. Front St., a building that houses several businesses located on two separate floors.

The police report states a shop worker saw something strange when closing for the night — a man hanging from the rafters inside the building.

“(She) thought this was somewhat suspicious and eventually watched the male subject get up onto the ceiling on the west side of the business,” the police report states.

Officers heard sounds from behind a locked door but received no response when they announced their presence. Heffner said a police dog located Popa after the store’s owner unlocked the door.

“The dog find (Popa) hiding in a shelf area about 4 feet off the ground,” Heffner said. “He doesn’t comply with requests and the dog grabs him by the leg.”

Popa was arrested, treated at Munson Medical Center for two bites on his upper thigh and then transported to Grand Traverse County jail. He was arraigned Tuesday in 86th District Court on charges of larceny, resisting arrest, malicious destruction of personal property and two counts of breaking and entering.

He also faces a third-offense, habitual offender notice from prior breaking and entering and larceny convictions.

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