In the early morning hours of Wednesday, 5-13-2020, the Chippewa Co Sheriff’s Office took a report of a stolen enclosed trailer. The trailer was taken from a work site in Northern Chippewa County. The trailer contained tools from a Road Construction crew and the total value could be between $60,000 to $80,000.
Also stolen were the heavy duty batteries for all the road construction machinery.
The Sheriff’s Office quickly learned that the Mackinac Co Sheriff’s Office had received a report of a Larceny of a Bobcat type tractor out of Cedarville, MI this same morning. It was reported that at the time of the larceny in Cedarville, a witness observed a white pickup truck and a white enclosed trailer backed up to the Bobcat.
It is estimated that the total replacement cost of all the stolen items were somewhere around $100,000.
Chippewa Co. Sheriff’s Office used surveillance video to track a white truck towing a white enclosed trailer, both matching what the witnesses saw in Cedarville. Very early Wednesday the truck and trailer were observed on video east bound on M-28 in the Brimley area. Within 40-45 minutes the same truck and trailer was seen on video heading south on M-129 in Pickford Mi.
Officers from all the involved agencies diligently searched the area which included all of northern/central Chippewa to the Eastern area of Mackinac County. The Chippewa Co Sheriff’s Office, Michigan State Police both Sault and St. Ignace Post, Mackinac Co Sheriff’s Office and Detectives from TRI-DENT were all assisting in the search.
By mid-day Wednesday, the Chippewa County Deputies were able to collect enough evidence that positively connected the two crime scenes.
Later Wednesday evening a MSP State Trooper conducted a traffic stop on M-134. The vehicle stopped was not known to be involved in the prior larcenies. Ultimately evidence was gathered during this traffic stop which lead to the break in the case.
The evidenced gathered led police to the trailer a short time later hidden behind a building in Mackinac County. Great lengths were taken by the suspects to change the physical look of the trailer.
Further evidence led officers to a cabin located North of Strongs, MI (Chippewa County).
While attempting to locate the cabin the suspect vehicle was seen on the back roads close to the suspect cabin. A traffic stop by MSP resulted in finding our two main suspects.
The two suspects were arrested at that time.
The Chippewa County Sheriff’s Office executed additional search warrants that resulted in the recovery of most or all of the stolen items.
-Jordan Jeffery Dewitt (35 yr old Evart MI man) pictured
wearing the black shirt (Habitual Offender)
-Matthew James Mclemore (33 yr old Lawton MI man)
pictured wearing the green shirt
Both were originally charged with a Larceny Over $20,000 in the 91st Dist court on 5/14/2020.
As of today 5/15/2020 both suspects were arraigned in 91st Dist court with the following charges:
-Larceny over $20,000
-Receiving and Concealing Stolen Property Over $20,000
-Possession of Burglary Tools
-Possession of Methamphetamine
-Malicious Destruction of Property
Two other people of interest were interviewed and released.
This investigation is far from complete as our Detectives and Deputy Sheriffs continue to investigate.
Since this original report CCSO has taken another report where suspects gained entry onto another property in Northern Chippewa County. Evidence recovered has confirmed these same suspects were involved. Charges, for this crime, have also been requested.
Chippewa County Sheriff Mike Bitnar said he would like to extend his thanks to ALL the agencies involved, especially the Michigan State Police as they were critical in helping this investigation. The ability to all work together is what solved this case.