GRAWN — A cigarette butt burned into the seat of a car provided DNA evidence authorities say linked a Grawn man to string of vehicle larcenies in a Blair Township subdivision.
Patrick Michael Bedrick, 19, faces arrest on an 11-count warrant issued by the 86th District Court.
Grand Traverse County sheriff’s Lt. Brian Giddis said a deputy identified Bedrick as a suspect in 10 attempted or completed vehicle larcenies reported Nov. 2 through witness interviews.
The crucial piece of evidence turned out to be an unfamiliar cigarette butt a victim noticed smoldered into her driver’s seat. Court documents state the forensic tests matched DNA on the butt with a sample taken from Bedrick.
“His fate was sealed with that cigarette butt,” Giddis said.
A police report states victims reported debit cards, car stereos and amplifiers, money and prescription pills stolen.
Ryan Joseph Cap, 17, is listed as a co-defendant in court documents and is accused of having a pair of running shoes reported stolen in the larcenies. A police report states Cap told a deputy that Bedrick and another suspect went “carhopping” from Cap’s Lamar Drive home that night.
Cap faced a receiving stolen property charge that authorities dismissed after he pleaded guilty to a drug possession charge.
Giddis said Deputy Matt Karczewski, who serves as Blair Township’s community police officer, helped close the case because of his experience as an evidence technician. The police report states the suspect left
behind no physical evidence other than a cigarette butt.
“He has an eye (for) smaller details like that,” Giddis said of Karczewski.
Bedrick faces felony charges of larceny from a motor vehicle, financial transaction device without consent and possession of hydrocodone, in addition to misdemeanor breaking and entering a vehicle to steal property.
Court records show Bedrick faces outstanding warrants for larceny and use of controlled substances charges.
Giddis said deputies hadn’t arrested Bedrick as of Friday morning.