BY ART BUKOWSKI
TRAVERSE CITY — A Garfield Township man stole a master key to his apartment complex and made off with items from several of his neighbors' apartments, authorities said.
Jacob F. Kilroy, 34, is charged with a single count of second-degree home invasion. He was arraigned Tuesday and remains in Grand Traverse County's jail. More charges are possible, county Prosecutor Al Schneider said.
Kilroy lives at Emerald Creek Apartments off South Airport near Home Depot in Garfield Township. Grand Traverse Sheriff's Department deputies said he went into nine apartments within the complex after he stole a master key from a maintenance man.
Investigators eventually connected him with the crime after he pawned jewelry that was reported stolen from one of the apartments, reports show.
Deputies became aware of the thefts in September when a woman in the complex called to report missing jewelry valued at about $1,400. Deputies checked around and discovered the items were pawned or sold at multiple local shops.
Records for the transactions listed Kilroy. Deputies also discovered that a maintenance man reported his master key stolen, possibly by Kilroy, who is identified in police reports as a friend of the maintenance man.
Deputies interviewed Kilroy and said he admitted to stealing the key and using it to enter several apartments.
"He advised me he ... would go to apartments in the complex and knock on the door," a detective wrote in a report. "When nobody answered, he would key his way into the apartments."
Several other residents reported medication, electronics, cash and jewelry missing. Deputies are still investigating.
It's satisfying to make an arrest, Sheriff's Capt. Dave Meachum said. Crimes that occur inside homes are among the most upsetting, he said.
"You're supposed to be safe there," he said.
A call left for owners or managers at Emerald Creek Apartments was not returned.
Anyone with information relevant to the case is asked to call the sheriff's department detective bureau at (231) 995-5152.