Petoskey Man Sentenced to Prison for String of Charlevoix County Home Invasions

This morning in the 33rd Circuit Court, Thomas Richard Pettersch, 27, Petoskey, was sentenced to serve 10 to 20 years in prison for a crime spree committed in Charlevoix and Cheboygan Counties in October of 2019.

According to a police affidavit in the case, Pettersch committed 19 home invasions in Charlevoix County which were reported October 27 through the 30th.

The houses were clustered into groups in the Thumb Lake area and an area on the South Arm of Lake Charlevoix. Pettersch stole guns, tools and other personal items.

“The defendant targeted areas of mostly seasonal homes,” Charlevoix County Prosecuting Attorney Allen Telgenhof said. “He went places where no one was likely to be around and gained entry breaking windows, screens or doors.”

Pettersch was arrested after performing a similar crime in Cheboygan County which was seen live via security camera by the victim who called police. The 911 call led to a car chase and his apprehension.

Police located items stolen from the Charlevoix County crimes in his truck as well as his residence in Petoskey once police obtained a search warrant.

On August 28, Pettersch pleaded guilty to home invasion, first degree and two counts of home invasion, second degree and the remaining charges against him were dismissed.

The first degree home invasion charge related to one of the homes where Pettersch stole a firearm which increases the maximum penalty from 15 to 20 years in prison.

“With concurrent sentencing, whether this defendant was found guilty of two second degree home invasions or 25 made no difference in the scoring of the guidelines or his maximum penalty,” Telgenhof said. “With this sentence, the defendant will not be eligible for parole for ten years.”

The court could have ordered that Pettersch’s sentences on the second degree home invasion charges be served consecutively to the first degree home invasion charge, but Judge Roy C. Hayes III declined to use his discretion for this purpose, indicating he felt the 10-year minimum was appropriate under the circumstances.

Records indicated that Pettersch had previously been convicted of similar offenses in Indiana and Florida. He was ordered to pay $62,264.50 in restitution to the victims.

“This was an example of excellent police work by the Charlevoix County Sheriff’s Office, led by Detective Ben Speigl, tying together numerous cases with physical evidence leading to a resolution where the public will be safe from this defendant for quite a while,” Telgenhof said.

About Allen Telgenhof

Allen Telgenhof is the Charlevoix County Prosecuting Attorney; he has been an attorney since 1989 and a high school baseball coach since 2005. Graduated from Clio High School, Michigan State University and Thomas M. Cooley Law School. Proud father of Ty, Ally, Will and Luke and husband to Erin.
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