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Sheriffs catch serial burglar, offers tips for future incidents

Daniel Horacek (click for larger version)
July 04, 2012 - Breaking and entering is a peculiar crime in that it affects the victim not only physically - monetarily - it also strips away the last vestige of safety.

Home security.

Yet thanks to the work of the Oakland County Sheriffs and their Orion Township Deputies, one less alleged burglar is walking the streets as of June 6, when Daniel Horacek, a 46-year-old Orion Township resident was arraigned at the 52/3 District Court in Rochester.

"He has an extensive criminal history dating back to 1985 and during the last week of May and the first week in June there were a number of similar break-ins in Orion Township," said Orion Substation Commander Dan Toth. "During that time, we were getting calls mostly from M-24 locations and they seemed to fit a pattern. There was physical evidence that led detectives to believe the crimes were made by the same perpetrators."

On June 13, The Review published a log entry from the Oakland County Sheriffs titled "armed robbery" which detailed one of Horacek's misdeeds. After deputies began investigating the crime, they discovered, thanks to digital imaging on the surveillance camera, they were able to identify Horacek clearly. They quickly put out a "be on the lookout."

Later that day they found him in an Opdyke hotel.

"He was located later the same day on June 4," said Toth. "We ended up arresting four suspects: three with felony warrants and our offender who subsequently made admissions to the armed robbery . He was charged with armed robbery and incarcerated on a cash-no-10-percent bond of $75,000."

Detectives are reviewing video surveillance and other evidence that relates to Horacek and the investigation into his offenses is ongoing.

However, Horacek is not the only source of night-time breaking and enterings of recent, yet due to lack of maintenance on surveillance equipment, deputies are having trouble identifying suspects. One burglary on April 26 yielded blood for tests that eventually pointed to two known felons and another whose charges are pending, but according to Toth, video is direly important to both detectives' investigations and prosecution of potential criminals.

'Installing, updating and maintaining video surveillance equipment is the difference in apprehending career criminals that have been able to avoid detection in the past," he said. "Both recent arrests have criminal histories and these arrests will avoid future crimes in our community as many are repeat offenders."

Toth said criminals seek out "easy targets" with no or little in the way of security. He recommends cutting back potentially line-of-sight blocking plants, installing lighting and cameras and calling police with any unusual or suspicious incidents to let them check out the property.

Toth added "an observant community and tips from the public account for many arrests."

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