'Alert patrons' to thank for break-in arrest

Two Traverse City men were arrested after witnesses say they say them breaking into the Blue Moon Ice Cream shop in Cedar.

Two Traverse City men were arrested after witnesses said they saw them breaking into the Blue Moon Ice Cream shop in Cedar.

The Leelanau County Sheriff is thanking "alert patrons and employees" at the Cedar Tavern for calling Leelanau Dispatch after 10:30 p.m. Monday evening to report that a suspicious vehicle backed into the Tavern lot and a man dressed in black walked across the street to the ice cream shop.

The Sheriff reports the witnesses watched the man break the front window, reach in and grab something and return to the car. Witnesses were not sure what was removed from the ice cream shop, but they were able to see a license plate number before the car left towards Maple City.

While investigating the crime scene, a vehicle the matched the description given by witnesses drove by slowly and parked on Sullivan Street. Deputies found the license plate matched the one given by witnesses.

The two men, age 22 and 23, were taken into custody for suspicion of breaking and entering. The driver was also arrested for operating with a suspended license.

Deputies say the man who was believed to have broken into the building was uncooperative and was nearly tasered. The driver admitted to deputies that they drove from Traverse City and his passenger said they were going into Bunting's Market. The man said the passenger returned a short time later with a cash register and told the driver to "get out of here."

The driver told deputies he drove west of Cedar. His passenger walked into the woods with the cash register and returned without it. Deputies believe $13 was taken in the break-in.

A tracking dog from Traverse City was unable to find the cash register.

Both men remain jailed on felony charges. Bonds have not been set. The Sheriff said breaking and entering is a 10 year felony.

The Sheriff thanked the witnesses at the Cedar Tavern saying "this crime would probably not been solved this morning had it not been for one business and it's patrons looking out for a fellow business and their community and reporting suspicious activity to the police."