Thomas Richard Pettersch, 26, Petoskey, was charged today in Charlevoix County with 21 felony counts related to a string of break-ins of seasonal homes and properties.
Pettersch is charged with two counts of home invasion, first degree, a felony with a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison. He is charged with 14 counts of home invasion, second degree which carries a maximum penalty of 15 years.
Lastly, Pettersch is charged with five counts of breaking and entering a building with intent, a 10-year felony. The prosecution also filed a habitual offender, fourth, notice which increases the maximum of all the offenses to life in prison.
Pettersch is currently lodged in the Cheboygan County Jail related to a similar charge he is facing there.
According to an affidavit filed in the matter, there were 19 break-ins in Charlevoix County reported or discovered between October 27 and 30. All involved seasonal homes on area lakes.
Firearms were stolen from two of the residences, resulting in the most serious charges of first-degree home invasion. The second-degree home invasion charges relate to the other house break-ins and the breaking and entering with intent charges relate to properties where a garage or shed was entered.
Items stolen also included a chain saw, leaf blower, pellet guns, flashlights, a drill, watches, an air compressor, a nail gun, a planer, jewelry and loose change.
Because most of the owners do not reside in the area full-time, many have been unable to travel yet to their properties to observe what had or had not been taken. There is also the possibility of other break-ins that may not have yet been discovered.
The affidavit indicates that after Pettersch’s arrest, officers obtained a search warrant for his home and located several items that had been reported as stolen in the Charlevoix County thefts.
The charges against Pettersch are merely allegations at this time and he is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.