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      Stolen handcuffs help deputies bust theft suspect

      A Benzie County man who detectives say spent two nights breaking into more than half a dozen homes and cars in December is behind bars and will be back in court on Thursday.

      Detectives from the Benzie County Sheriff's Department report that on December 15, 22-year-old Michael Bradley Jr. broke into and stole various items from two homes and four cars on Burr, Lake, and Walker Streets in Benzonia.

      "One of the things that one of the deputies on scene had noted was that the suspect had been wearing Nike Air Jordan Tennis Shoes, because they have a very distinctive pattern on them," said Det. Sgt. Troy Lamerson. "And the deputy was able to photograph the footprints in the snow and make note of that in his report."

      One December 20, the Sheriff's Department received more complaints that other homes and cars on Frankfort Highway had been broken into, and that some checks from Crystal Ridge Condominiums had also been taken.

      One of the cars belonged to a corrections officer from another county, and had police issued pepper spray and handcuffs stolen from it.

      "We received a call from a gentleman who also resides in Benzonia advising that he had been locked in a pair of police style handcuffs and that he needed a key to free himself," said Lamerson.

      Further investigation revealed that the alleged victim was a relative of Bradley's. Lamerson says they are still investigating if the relative handcuffed himself, or if Bradley did.

      During an interview, the relative told detectives that Bradley had left on foot for several hours the previous night, and had returned with electronic items that he did not have with him before. The interview also lead deputies to their suspect.

      "Late on the 20th, we were able to track down Michael Hal Bradley at another residence located within Benzonia Michigan," said Lamerson. "And at the time we located him we noticed that he was wearing a pair of Nike Air Jordan Tennis Shoes and he actually had in his possession a cell phone that had been stolen out of a residence on December 15."

      Bradley is behind bars in the Benzie County Jail on $250,000 bond. He has a preliminary court exam on Thursday. Bradley is being charged with first degree home invasion and larceny in a building and faces up to 20-year behind bars.