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Man arrested in Niles on 46 felony counts

Published 11:02pm Monday, January 23, 2012

CASSOPOLIS — A 27-year-old Dowagiac man arrested in Niles Friday faces 46 separate felony counts stemming from a break-in at Hale’s Hardware in Dowagiac.

Jeffery Eugene Roetzel was arraigned Monday in Cass County Fourth District Court on such charges as breaking and entering, malicious destruction over $1,000, several firearm larcenies and weapon offenses, larceny in a building and numerous felony firearm charges.

Roetzel also faces habitual offender, fourth offense.

His bond was set at $300,000.

Cass County sheriff’s deputies responded to an alarm at about 2:48 a.m. Jan. 16 at Hale’s Hardware on M-51 south of Dowagiac in Pokagon Township.

Officers found that someone had broken into the store and stolen numerous handguns.

Tips to the Cass County Drug Enforcement Team and evidence obtained by sheriff’s investigators led to Roetzel’s arrest Friday in Niles.

Niles City Police Department assisted the sheriff’s office in apprehending Roetzel.

Ron Hale, who oversees Hale’s sporting goods department, said, “I’m happy to hear that they found him.”

Hale said after a break-in in the “early 90s,” the store quit carrying handguns, but received so many requests, they were reinstated in 2010.

The sheriff’s office said the weapons have not yet been recovered.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), in conjunction with the National Shooting Sports Foundation, is offering a cash reward of up to $5,000 for any information leading to recovery of the firearms and/or the arrest and conviction of any other individuals responsible.

Anyone with information about this crime can call the Cass County Sheriff’s Office at (269) 445-1560 or leave an anonymous tip at either (800) 462-9328 or through the Web at www.ccso.info.

Callers may also call the ATF Grand Rapids field office at (616) 301-6100 or (800) ATF-GUNS (1-800-283-4867) or text their tip to 274637 (CRIMES) with “ATF” in the body of the text.

See www.atf.gov for more information.

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