Traverse City Record-Eagle

Archive: Thursday

January 9, 2014

Brothers face charges for swiping coins, cameras, baby teeth

TRAVERSE CITY — This time, it wasn’t the tooth fairy.

A Blair Township man came home in December to find his sliding door cracked open, snowy footprints in the house, and several of his possessions — including a bag of baby teeth — missing.

The man called Grand Traverse County sheriff’s deputies, who tracked footprints outside the home to a neighbor’s house.

Now a warrant is out for Zaquary Thomas Widener, 17 and Austin Drake Widener, 20, of Traverse City. The brothers face home invasion and possession of alcohol by a minor charges and up to 15 years in jail.

A juvenile is a suspect in the case, but was released to his parents, according to police reports.

The Widener brothers are suspected of making off with gold coins, liquor and cameras, in addition to the teeth, according to court documents.

Grand Traverse sheriff’s deputies discovered an unopened bottle of Jim Beam whiskey and a Ziploc bag containing two baby teeth along the suspects’ trail, according to police reports. More whiskey and three cameras were found in a closet at the Wideners’ address.

Police were unable to find a camcorder, a bottle of prescription drugs, and about $50 worth of gold coins that the victim reported missing, according to the report, which also stated Austin Widener told deputies he took the cameras.

“I just grabbed them on the way out, something to pawn,” the reported stated.

Zaquary Widener admitted swiping coins and some whiskey, deputies said.

The coins might have some value, but there’s little money to be gained from the purloined teeth, said Lane Griffith, the manager at Ace Buyers in Traverse City.

“I’ve never purchased human teeth before, but I have bought gold fillings that have been taken out,” Griffith said, adding that he may have purchased something like a shark’s tooth necklace in the past.

The Wideners had not been booked into Grand Traverse County’s jail as of Wednesday afternoon.

Austin Widener previously had been convicted of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon in Abilene, Texas in July.

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