Michigan man to return to prison for television theft

A resident of Dearborn Heights faces up to 10 years in prison in connection with felony breaking and entering charges. He recently pleaded guilty to three counts based on incidents occurring in three senior living complexes during the summer of 2015. There are two additional complexes at which similar thefts occurred during this period of time. In all cases, televisions were taken from the facilities.

The 40-year-old man recently completed a prison term of almost 20 years in connection with firearms and second-degree murder convictions. He has been out of prison since August 2013. Because of the prior record, the man has been treated as a habitual offender in the current case. He was connected to the case through the use of surveillance images captured at some of the affected facilities. These were shared with the public through social media avenues, which resulted in the man's detention. Reports do not indicate whether any of the stolen televisions were recovered.

An individual facing theft charges because of a social media investigation might be mistakenly blamed in a case if the images are of poor quality. Authorities might use information obtained through such methods to formulate leads, but there are many ways in which one's civil rights could be violated. For example, proper channels should be used to avoid violating search-and-seizure rights. An individual who has been taken into custody also has a right to obtain legal counsel. Improper questioning could lead to an admission that is not necessarily true.

A party with a prior criminal record might feel compelled to answer the questions of authorities at a point of initial contact. However, legal assistance might be important during initial questioning to ensure that an admission is not provided due to improper questioning tactics. Interviewing an inebriated party, for example, might elicit an admission that is not actually valid.