A Charlevoix County jury found Vincent Michael Ryan, 38, Kalkaska, guilty of larceny in a building following a one-day jury trial today in the 33rd Circuit Court.
Charlevoix County Prosecuting Attorney Allen Telgenhof played videos for the jury taken from security cameras at the Holiday Gas Station from November 28, 2021 showing a man taking a collection box for Toys for Tots from the front of the store near the cash registers, then taking it down an aisle out of camera view and eventually throwing the empty box away in the rear of the store.
Holiday employees had taken screenshots of the man, as well as the person who drove him to the store and the car they were in, and posted them on Facebook asking members of the public to identify them. Within minutes, witnesses said many people responded. One of them was Cole Nagy, a police officer from Kalkaska, who positively identified the person taking the box as Ryan.
Nagy testified at trial as to Ryan’s identity and also indicated that he recognized the driver and his vehicle from prior police contacts. He said that he had seen Ryan in person approximately ten times and also had seen photographs of him that many times as well. Nagy testified that he was aware that Ryan was also associated with the driver’s mother, tying the two together.
Ryan has a lengthy criminal history dating back to 2006, including misdemeanor convictions for receiving and concealing stolen property and embezzlement, and felony convictions for uttering and publishing, possession of methamphetamine, absconding on bond and a prior larceny in a building.
“This was a case of a store having great video footage of the incident and wisely putting the information out on social media and getting help with identification,” Telgenhof said. “The Charlevoix City Police also put the information out to other departments. Using all of the camera angles, the jury was able to see exactly what had happened.”
Telgenhof continued, “Toys for Tots is a wonderful charity affiliated with the Marine Corps that provides toys for kids at Christmas. All thefts are sad cases but this one is especially so with someone basically willing to steal toys from kids at Christmas time.”
“The conviction was made possible by good work by the management staff at Holiday and the Charlevoix Police Department, especially officer in charge Morgan Stewart, in piecing this all together.”
Judge Roy C. Hayes will sentence Ryan on Friday, Aug. 12.
Larceny in a building is a felony that typically carries a maximum penalty of four years in prison. Because Ryan is a habitual offender, fourth offense, the maximum penalty in this case is fifteen years.
Ryan is already in prison on a previous conviction and was transported to Charlevoix for trial by the Michigan Department of Corrections.