By JAMES MITCHELL
Sunday Times Newspapers
TAYLOR – A 23-year-old Taylor man who was paroled last year after serving time for a carjacking may face up to 20 years in prison if convicted of stealing $20,000 from a gas station safe.
Brandon William Hatfield was arraigned March 14 before 23rd District Court Judge Geno Salomone on charges of breaking and entering after Taylor and Dearborn Heights police took him into custody March 12.
According to police reports, officers were called in response to a man who “acted suspicious” when he asked a homeowner for either a ride or to use a cell phone to call for transportation. The homeowner – in a neighborhood near Inkster and Currier roads in the city’s north end – let the man use his phone.
He soon noticed the man sitting on his porch counting money that he’d had in a small box.
The man soon left but was identified later that morning by Dearborn Heights police, who noted the description of a white man in his early 20s who was been seen on security images taken at Sunoco, 27327 Van Born. Hatfield was allegedly seen breaking into the business after taking tools from a nearby car wash.
For about two hours the video images showed the man going back and forth between the businesses, beginning about 1:30 a.m. before leaving the gas station at 4:30 a.m.
Store management notified police of the break-in and theft of about $20,000 cash from the business safe, money that was held there to pay a tax bill.
Hatfield remained in custody on $20,000 cash bond and awaits an arraignment on information in Wayne County Circuit Court.
Hatfield had been placed on probation in February 2015 after having served nearly four years in prison for a 2010 carjacking conviction.
(James Mitchell can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.)