Midweek arrest leads to the recovery of stolen items from several other area burglaries.
MIAMI – The Miami Police Department's response to a burglary call resulted in the arrest of Joseph Ryan Williams, 28, of Miami. Williams' arrest led to the recovery of property from about a dozen area burglaries, according to Miami Chief of Police Thomas Anderson.
“Officers did a great job working the burglary,” Anderson said. “The case is still being followed up by detectives. A search warrant on the suspect's house has revealed property being seized from nearly a dozen other burglary and stolen car reports.”
According to the Miami Police Report written by Officer Andrew Hanson, he and other officers responded to an alarm call at 5:56 a.m. on Wednesday, May 2 to the First Baptist Church located on 24 A Street SW in Miami.
Hanson along with Cpl. Jason Bissell and Officer Danny Morris conducted a check of the building and located an open gate on the north side of the building leading to an open basement door. The officers entered the building and began a floor by floor search.
The officers heard noises and movement coming from an office on the ground level of the building while searching in a hallway located south of the church's large chapel.
“Officer Morris and myself approached the locked office from another office giving orders and announcing who we were,” Hanson wrote. “As we entered the office, no one was in the immediate room, however, there was a closet at the southwest corner of the office. Officer Morris opened the door and I observed a male subject, later identified as Joseph Williams attempting to hide in the closet.”
Williams had a black backpack that appeared to be full of items, according to Hanson's police report. Williams was ordered to the ground at gunpoint.
“Williams appeared to be sweaty and had sores all over his body,” Hanson wrote.
Williams was secured in handcuffs and turned over to Sgt. Jeff Frazier and the three officers continued to clear the church building.
The officers' investigation revealed a padlock that was cut off the gate in order to access the stairway to the basement.
A door was found to have been pried open on the farthest southeast office where video cameras and camera equipment had been stolen.
The next church office door west, the Pastor's office, was also found to have been pried open and keys and a backpack had been removed from the office as identified by First Baptist Church Pastor Rick Longcrier who had responded to the scene and walked officers through the church identifying where the stolen items had been located.
During the walkthrough with Longcrier, officers found that an electronic base guitar and case had been removed from the chapel stage and set outside the chapel door.
“It was also found wires connecting the alarm control panel to power/sensor wires was pulled disconnecting the alarm,” Hanson wrote in his report.
The extensive damages caused by the burglary of over $1,500 to the church building's doors, locking mechanism and security system needed to be replaced to properly function.
A blue backpack was also found containing two pry bars, a flathead screwdriver, a large set of bolt cutters, and rubber gloves.
After being Mirandized by Sgt. Frazier, according to Hanson's report, Williams admitted to taking the property found in his bag.
Williams also told police he entered the gate and basement door, and took a grey and yellow bag from the church.
After his arrest, Williams was transported to the Ottawa County Jail.
“While en route to the jail, Williams asked if we cut deals and he was instructed that the DA's Office makes the deals and that it would be in his best interest to just be honest,” Hanson wrote in the police report. “While on scene prior to being transported, Williams admitted to the burglary at 101 2nd Avenue SE (Indulgence) that officers responded to and were still at the time of this alarm call.”
Stolen property listed recovered includes a Canon video camera, North Face backpack and contents, black Bose case and earbuds and blue Ipad, multiple keys, Nikon manual and drive CDS, Sony Handycam, photo lenses, AV cords, DSLR and video camera kit, camera flash attachment, wedding policy, gold club card, a book, watch, and flashlight valued at a total of $1,465 in this burglary.
Melinda Stotts is the associate editor of the Miami News-Record. She can be emailed at firstname.lastname@example.org or followed on Twitter @MelindaStotts1.