Man sentenced to prison for cabin break-in spree, boot camp possible.

August 7, 2018

Chad Collins with his attorney, Douglas Stevenson.

Man sentenced to prison for cabin break-in spree, boot camp possible.


By Allison Scarbrough, Editor.

LUDINGTON — A 27-year-old Sheridan Township man who went on a crime spree with an accomplice last March, breaking into cabins in the Tallman Lake area of Branch Township, was sentenced to three to 15 years in prison for convictions of second-degree home invasion and receiving and concealing stolen property $1,000-$20,000 Tuesday, Aug. 7, in 51st Circuit Court.

Chad Fredrick Collins, of 6735 E. Butters Rd, is eligible for Special Alternative Incarceration (SAI) or boot camp through the Michigan Department of Corrections. Judge Susan K. Sniegowski said she would not object to it.

Collins pleaded guilty to the charges, June 19.

Collins was initially facing eight felony charges, including first-degree home invasion, four counts of second-degree home invasion, felony firearm, breaking and entering a building with intent and possession of burglary tools.

His accomplice was Lee Hamilton Colby, 34, of Fountain, who has not yet been sentenced.

Collins’ criminal history includes four prior misdemeanors. “Colby has a much more extensive record,” Mason County Prosecutor Paul Spaniola said.

Both men were armed when they broke into the cabins, stealing electronics and several other items. Deputies recovered nearly 50 pieces of stolen property, including TVs, power tools, propane tanks, grills, yard tools, household appliances and food. They used wheelbarrows to transport the stolen items, said Spaniola.

Mason County sheriff’s deputies tracked their footprints from one crime scene to another, said Mason County Sheriff Kim Cole, and ultimately tracked them down to one of the residences they had broken into.

“This crime has affected me in many ways,” said one of the victims. Her father’s World War II parachute bag was stolen, along with a .22 caliber rifle, her prescribed medication, and several personal papers such as her birth certificate. “My grandchildren are scared to stay there,” she said. “He has no regard for other people’s property or their possessions.”

Defense attorney Douglas Stevenson said his client admitted to only one break-in. “There is no excuse for what he did,” Stevenson said.

“This incident is very, very serious — breaking into people’s homes,” Judge Sniegowski said. “It can have lifelong repercussions. It can be devastating.”

Restitution totaling $2,463 is joint and several with Colby.

Collins received credit for 150 days served in jail.

The judge sentenced Collins to a concurrent term of 366 days to five years for the second count.

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